Mark Cuban allegedly hired a former FBI agent to investigate whether NBA referees assisted the Miami Heat in their 2006 NBA Finals 4-2 victory over his Dallas Mavericks, according to a recent in-depth investigative report in The Oregonian.
The outspoken billionaire and Mavericks owner reportedly tapped retired FBI agent Warren Flagg, a 20-year veteran of the bureau who now operates his own New York City-based investigation and security firm, for the assignment, John Canzano of The Oregonian wrote last week in the last of a five-part series on officiating in the NBA.
Following the Mavericks' NBA Finals loss, Cuban reportedly contacted Flagg about looking into the matter, telling the former G-Man that he was considering a lawsuit against the NBA.
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It is unclear what, if anything, Flagg found in his research, however, when asked by Cuban how he should proceed, the investigator reportedly said, "I told him, 'Sue and you’ll win your case,' but he knew he'd be killing the Golden Goose."
When asked by The Oregonian about his contacting Flagg, Cuban reportedly said, "I don't remember."
Known for his passionate display of courtside elation and rage depending on the game's direction, Cuban at the time was facing $450,000 in fines for two incidents during the 2006 NBA Finals.
Both incidents occurred during the Mavericks' Game 5 loss to the Heat. First, Cuban reportedly went onto the court to protest a call by official Joe DeRosa. The second fine was levied after he reportedly glared at former National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern who was in the stands at the time.
In total, Cuban has been fined $1.665 million since buying the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, The Oregonian noted.
The reason Cuban likely decided to focus his attention on the officials following his Finals loss was likely because Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade took 97 trips to the foul line in six games, including an average of 18.3 attempts over the final four games of the series, according to BleacherReport.com
However, as Yahoo Sports noted
, it was likely the Mavericks' inability to effectively cover Wade, having assigned three different players to him during the season, that likely led to the team's defeat.
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