Mark Cuban’s response

I have a story in today’s paper about Nellie winning a $6.3 million judgement over Mark Cuban in court on Thursday. Via email, Cuban granted to my request for a response. It was too late to get in the paper, but his answer is way too interesting not to publish.

Cuban’s response:
“As you wrote in the article, I breached the consulting contract by
withholding 25k dollars rather than immediately informing Nellie that he
was in breach. As a result, I breached first and owe him and am happy to
pay it.

“The good news is that from Nellie’s testimony under oath, I got to find out
the truth of what happened prior to Nellie taking the Warriors job and it
certainly was not what was said publicly.

“It was not something that happened quickly, as was quoted in the press.
Nellie and Chris Mullin were meeting and having discussions about the
Warriors’ draft while he was under contract to the Mavs and we were playing
in the Finals (in the summer of 2006). Nellie and his lawyers had their first conversations
about the coaching job long before he took the job. The list goes on.

“Sometimes finding the truth is expensive. In this case I just have to pay
him what I would have had to pay him anyway and some legal fees, so it
didn’t cost too much. In fact, it was a small price to pay. In any event,
now Warriors fans get to enjoy and appreciate the drama queen that is
Don Nelson.

“Maybe some day I will post the deposition transcripts, they make for
incredibly entertaining reading.”

Marcus Thompson

  • Nellie was helping the Warriors before the Patrick O’Bryant draft?


  • Peachruss

    Sounds like a wounded ex-spouse.

  • JustPuked

    Now that’s a juicy morsal. Thanks for sharing Marcus.

  • EJ

    you think nellie had his feet up and was smoking a cigar in the arbitration room?

    on a somewhat related topic, so you think nellie would be able to exploit baron this season like he did dirk in the playoffs? maybe sag of him from arc so he could fire up those pull up 3s? or put buike on him on d?

  • Roy

    If Nellie did talk to Mullin, I am not sure it was the help the Warriors if he wasn’t under contract. If may be more of friends and I wouldn’t listen to Nellie if I was Mullin. I don’t think Patrick is the pick that would have come from those conversations.

  • petaluman

    I am guessing you didn’t print Cuban’s response in its entirety. How has he proven that the Don is a ‘drama queen’ for insisting he be paid 6.3M that he was legally entitled to, and which has now been upheld in legally binding arbitration?

    From MT’s newspaper article at

    “It’s not so much a legal defeat for Cuban as it is an old-fashion (butt) whipping,” Nelson’s attorney John O’Connor gloated. “Cuban’s lawyers did a great job of trying to disguise their pig with lipstick and jewelry. But, unfortunately for them, it kept oinking.”

  • Mark Cuban


  • Dig

    Nellie whooped that ass ten fold.

  • AJ

    Big Kat – I’m also perplexed that Nellie suggested O’Bryant and not even play him? They should have moved with Houston and drafted Gay!

  • oaktown_bro

    drama queen? I guess Cuban is blind to himself, the ultimate drama queen.

  • Scott

    Cuban is a whiny little B*&ch. 6 mil to him is like $100 bucks. He is just bitter about losing to the Warriors in the first round and now their title window is closing faster than ever.

    No way Nelson chooses Patrick O’Bryant. That has Mike Montgomery written all over it.

  • commish

    What a bunch of sour grapes. Anyway, Nellie earned his money the old fashioned way: through litigation, which he clearly loves and is quite good at. Bottom line, in case you haven’t noticed, Nellie is much better at offense than defense. Funny how that carries over to his coaching.

  • Robo

    Interesting article, Marcus. I was actually in DFW in June of 2006 and I saw Mullie there. I didn’t talk to him, but at the time I wondered just what he was doing there. Well, now we know.

    On another note, do the W’s have any more money left to spend on free agents? After BD’s departure, the moves the W’s made looked pretty good to me except for the Marcus Williams signing. I would have preferred Jason Williams instead (or in addition to), even for just a year or two. It’s pretty obvious that Monta Ellis has grown each and every year, but I think a lot of credit for his development has to go to the veterans that he has played with – BD, Jax, and Al. With Baron gone, how can Monta get much better as the starting PG with no one to learn from and the spotlight placed squarely on his shoulders? I think BD’s definitely going to be missed. If Marcus Williams works out, then that’s great. But in the long term, I think the W’s will be way better with Monta at the point; allowing more playing time for Kelenna, Belinelli, Randolph, Wright, Hendrix and now Morrow.

    2 final questions: What’s the status of Kosta Perovic? And what’s Avery Johnson up to these days?

  • Mr B

    I think Cuban’s bitterness is not with Nellie but the fact that he realizes that his team will never get past the first round of the playoffs.

    It is a hard pill to swallow given his payroll.

  • Mike Hughes

    Cuban is trying to rewrite history. Nelson was Mullin’s friend and mentor. One should expect him to continue a close relationship with Mullin and even advise him if it did not conflict with his own job, which apparently no longer in force. Nelson was not coaching the Mavericks in the finals and, as I understand it, Cuban had already breached the contract.

  • Jim

    I’ve followed this case with some interest. Cuban’s response appears, from publicly available information, to be pure b.s. There were two separate issues: (1) payment of salary that had been earned and deferred by agreement between Nelson and the prior owners before Cuban even took over; and (2) the consulting contract issues. The first issue was the big dollar amount. Cuban never had a right to stop payments on that under any conceivable legal theory I’m aware of – the prior owners said so and so did the arbitrator.

    All Cuban did was get angry, refuse to make payments because he’s as rich as Croesus and could do it with impunity, and then have lawyers come up with legal theories that would make it Nelson’s fault. That might have worked with the consulting contract money, but it never had a chance with the deferred salary claim.

    Cuban is a somewhat interesting, very rich, but very petulant baby.

  • blahblahblah

    “In any event, now Warriors fans get to enjoy and appreciate the drama queen that is Don Nelson.”

    This quote provides the most insight into Cuban’s cranium in my opinion. It is a rather thinly veiled attempt to take a swipe at our whole fanbase for supporting Nellie and suggesting that we are duped by his cult of personality into doing so.

    *Hello!!* we in the Bay Area are smart enough to know when Nellie is spinning one of his famous yarn balls and when he is not – sometimes we even enjoy his “Drama” for it’s pure entertainment value – but we really appreciate Nellie for his coaching chops and the swagger that he brings to our franchise.

    Laughable comment at best, and sour grapes at worst.

  • Ewok

    Mark Cuban should be in Mama Mia!

    I’m so amazed how he allowed his disposition influenced by his emotions and not by his business savvy.

    If Nelson is a Drama Queen? Hey, it can’t be bad, his “drama” got him 6.3 million all the way to the bank.

    While Cuban, and all his sour-graping, should be known as the “Dancing Queen.”

    Cuban needs to grow up.

    Bottomline, he fired Nellie and Nellie did his thing.

    For a multi-millionaire, It doesnt look good to act like a little girl in front of low-wage, working class people whom you owe every penny of your money.

  • Ewok

    Sounds like a woman scorned.

  • dan

    Cuban is a pathetic man. Nellie built that team from the ground up by drafting Dirk and trading for Nash. Nellie got rid of the pathetic trio of Kidd/Jackson/Mashburn. If you recall, when Nellie took over the Mavs, they were terrible. I recalled they won 19 or 20 games that year.

    Nellie helped turn that franchise around. Cuban is pathetic. We will see what Cuban is made of when Dirk is gone in 3 or 4 years.

  • Mavsfan

    Sounds like we have some people whose just a wee bit jealous. I think you are a bit mistaken Dan, the Mavs got better when Cuban took them over. The prior owners didn’t even no how many players were suppose to be on the floor, and it wasn’t Cuban that got rid of Mash, Jackson and Kid.

  • dan


    So Cuban drafted Dirk for himself then? Cuban also traded for Nash then? Right? Cuban also traded away the bickering trio of Kidd,Jackson and Mashburn?

    You are an idiot if you think money can buy winning.

  • garlicboy

    If Nellie had his input, he would have drafted Marcus Williams instead of trading for him.

    Cuban’s a crybaby.