Mark Cuban Shuts Down Kristaps Porzingis Trade Rumors ... 'Not Gonna Happen'

Kristaps Porzingis is NOT being shipped out of Dallas under ANY circumstance ... so says Mark Cuban.

The Mavs owner forcefully shut down persistent rumors that Dallas is looking to move the 25-year-old ... despite only being in the 2nd year of a 5-year $158 million contract he signed in 2019.

There have been rumblings about the Mavs looking for a trade partner for the past month -- including an SNY report that Dallas has reached out to the Golden State Warriors to see if they were interested in a deal.

Cuban had denied the rumors back in February -- but the rumblings continued -- which led to Cuban slamming the door shut on a possible KP move during Tuesday's appearance on "Live with Kelly & Ryan."

"We're not trading KP," Cuban said ... "KP's a star."

As Ryan Seacrest continued to probe, Cuban doubled down -- "It's not gonna happen, Ryan. You heard it here first. Definitely not gonna happen."

Porzingis missed the first 3 weeks of the NBA season while recovering from knee surgery -- and missed another 2 weeks last month with a back injury.

Despite the hiccups, KP is still a monster when he's on the court -- averaging 20.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

The Mavs are currently in 8th place in the Western Conference -- and clearly Cuban is hoping KP will keep them in the playoff hunt.

... at least, for now.

Daymond John Hilariously Exposes 'Shark Tank' Star Whose Credit Card Was Declined at Dinner!!!

SHARK SHAME
Just Getting Started with Rich Eisen

Rich people shaming other rich people NEVER GETS OLD!!

Case in point ... here's Daymond John outing one of his fellow "Shark Tank" stars whose credit card was DECLINED at a fancy dinner -- and all signs point to MARK CUBAN!!!!

"A card was declined and it was somebody that is the last person that I ever think a card would be declined," Daymond said on Rich Eisen's new "Just Getting Started" podcast.

"And there was obviously a reason ... but I was like, '[clears throat] I’m going to get this one, so that I can go down in history saying that I paid for your check!'"

Then Daymond dropped another clue ...

"And, if you knew how the Sharks talk, you can tell -- if you’re in sports -- he said 'Whatever, DJ,' you know who that is, of course."

IT'S DEFINITELY MARK CUBAN!!!

Of course, Cuban is currently worth around $4.4 BILLION, according to Forbes ... so the declined card was most likely a mistake (it's not like the dude doesn't have the funds)!

But still, Daymond loved EVERY SECOND OF IT -- and now he can brag that he picked up Cuban's check in the Dallas Mavericks owner's moment of need.

At the end of the interview, Eisen tells Daymond -- "You tell Cuban, pay his bills!"

Daymond smiles and replies, "You said it, not I. I didn’t say the name, you said it."

Nice try, DJ.

Luka Doncic Creates LinkedIn Profile ... 'Skills: Basketball'

If anyone is looking to hire a 2-time All-Star, Luka Doncic is putting his résumé on display ... with the Mavs superstar creating his very own LinkedIn page -- and it's as awesome as you'd think!!

The 22-year-old former Rookie of the Year's profile surfaced on the job-focused social media site this week ... and it's laden with nuggets that would make any company wanna add the hooper to their team.

For instance, Luka's experience section includes guard/small forward for the Dallas Mavericks (duh) ... as well as "Global Chief Hydration Officer" for BioSteel -- a company he announced a partnership with this week.

Things get good when we get to the "Skills" section of Luka's profile ... which includes basketball (duh, again), hydration and fitness.

As for other skills listed?? Magic ... which makes sense. After all, have you SEEN this guy play?!

The biggest flex of all comes in the "Honors and Awards" portion of the page ... which lists all of the baller's accomplishments so far in his young career -- 2-time All-Star, All-NBA First Team, NBA Rookie Of The Year, EuroLeague 2010–20 All-Decade Team, EuroLeague champ and MVP.

Yeah, not too shabby.

It's not the first time a huge name like Luka has ventured on to the site -- athletes like Shaq, Julian Edelman and Brandon Marshall have famously logged on in the past.

Of course, Luka might be busy for the next decade or so on the court, but it's always nice to have a backup plan juuuuuuuust in case.

Mark Cuban NBA Overrules Mavs Owner You Will Play Nat'l Anthem At Games

11:06 AM PT -- The NBA will force Mark Cuban to overturn his new anthem policy ... saying Wednesday the Mavericks now MUST play the song in accordance with the league's "longstanding" rules.

"With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas," NBA exec Mike Bass said in a statement, "all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy."

The pregame ritual will now presumably return to Dallas on Wednesday, when the Atlanta Hawks visit the Mavs at American Airlines Center.

Mark Cuban has axed national anthems from the Dallas Mavericks' pregame routines this season ... saying Tuesday night, "It was my decision."

Cuban added in a message to the New York Times, "I made it in November."

The NBA owner declined to further explain the choice ... but it seems clear, Cuban is preferring to have his team avoid all the controversy that's come with the song's playing over the last few years.

You'll recall ... after Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the NFL's playing of anthems in 2016 to protest police brutality and racial injustice in America -- critics, including Donald Trump, slammed the move as unpatriotic.

Trump went so far as to say the NFL should fire any "son of a bitch" who participated in the demonstration.

The polarizing kneeling quickly spread to other sports ... and despite the NBA's longstanding stand-for-the-anthem policy, players and coaches alike knelt during the song's playing in the NBA bubble at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement this past summer.

KNEELIN' TOGETHER
Courtesy of NBA

League Commish Adam Silver gave teams the choice this season over how to handle the pregame song ... and, for now, Cuban appears to be the only owner who's nixed it from the in-game experiences.

According to The Athletic, the Mavericks -- who hadn't had fans in the arena until just this week when 1,500 vaccinated healthcare workers received tickets to a game -- have not played the anthem in any of their 13 preseason and regular-season games so far.

Seems New Orleans Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy wouldn't mind if his team took the same approach ... the 61-year-old said Wednesday morning, "This should happen everywhere."

"If you think the anthem needs to be played before sporting events, then play it before every movie, concert, church service and the start of every work day at every business," Van Gundy added. "What good reason is there to play the anthem before a game?"

FYI, Cuban has supported peaceful protests during the national anthems in the past ... saying to ESPN in June before the NBA's bubble restart, "If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them."

"Hopefully, I’d join them."

Originally Published -- 6:23 AM PT

Delonte West Lands Job With Rehab Facility ... In Florida

Awesome step in the right direction for Delonte West -- the ex-NBAer is now employed by the same rehab facility he received treatment from late last year!!

As we previously reported ... Mark Cuban personally tracked down the 37-year-old at a Dallas gas station in September 2020 and helped the hooper reconnect with his mother.

SEPTEMBER 2020
HERE TO HELP
TMZSports.com

Together, West's mom and Cuban convinced the former Dallas Maverick to seek treatment at the Rebound therapy center in Florida ... as an attempt to bounce back from hard times.

The progress was clearly visible -- with West smiling from ear-to-ear during activities like horseback riding, frisbee golf and kayaking as he took steps towards recovery.

Now, The Athletic's Shams Charania reports West will continue to surround himself within the Rebound family ... this time, as an employee.

The report also states West has maintained contact with Cuban and his family as he continues to work on his health.

Of course, West was the 24th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft ... playing for the SuperSonics, Mavs, Cavs and Celtics.

The guard fell on hard times in the years following his hoops career ... and members of the NBA community -- including Cuban, Doc Rivers and Jameer Nelson -- have been focused on trying to get West back on his feet.

The recent updates have been positive -- West was even spotted working on his jumper back in November ... and it's clear he has a strong support system behind him.

BACK TO BALLIN'
@og__chris19/Instagram

Keep it up, Delonte!

Delonte West Frisbee Golf & Kayak in Rehab ... Mark Cuban Shares Pics

This is GREAT to see -- Delonte West looking happy and physically active at his rehab center!!

Mark Cuban shared some pics of the ex-NBA star as he continues his treatment ... which now includes frisbee golf and kayaking!

Cuban, who was the driving force behind getting 37-year-old West into treatment, commented ... "Because we all want something to feel great about today, here is your Delonte West update."

He added, "It's still an uphill battle, but he is climbing."

As we previously reported, Cuban personally picked up West at a Dallas gas station last month and vowed to help out in any way he could after seeing pics of Delonte in late-September in bad shape, begging for money on the streets.

With the blessing of West's family, Cuban helped get Delonte -- a 2004 1st round NBA Draft pick -- into a treatment program ... and things have been going well ever since.

West started with a detox program -- and our sources told us he was "roughing it out" while getting all traces of drugs and alcohol out of his system.

Since then, he looks to be in a much better place -- he's been horseback riding and staying active ... taking it one day at a time!

Go Delonte, Go!!!

Mark Cuban Rips Ted Cruz in NBA Ratings Spat ... 'You're So Full of Sh*t'

The insults are flying between Mark Cuban and Ted Cruz (again!) -- complete with cuss words and personal attacks -- and it's all over the NBA Finals ratings.

This time, Cruz -- the republican senator from Texas -- kicked things off by tweeting out a headline from Sean Hannity's website that reads, "NBA Finals Game 3 'Least Watched in Recorded Ratings History.'"

The article says the NBA Finals ratings are down 45% from 2019.

Cruz added a comment ... "Not surprising. Personally speaking, this is the first time in years that I haven’t watched a single game in the NBA Finals. #GoWokeGoBroke."

Enter Cuban -- owner of the Dallas Mavericks -- who clapped right back.

"A US Senator with 3 @NBA teams in his state, employing thousands of people and he is rooting for their businesses to do poorly.  This is who you are @tedcruz. Every minute of your life, this is exactly who you are."

Think Cruz was going to let that lie? NO WAY!

"I love @HoustonRockets & have rooted for them my entire life. I happily cheer for the Spurs & Mavericks against any non-TX team.  But @mcuban the NBA is engaged in a concerted effort to (1) insult their fans & (2) turn every game into a left-wing political lecture. That’s dumb."

Cuban did not take kindly to that ... and shot back with an expletive.

"You are so full of sh*t. You haven't watched a game of the finals, how would you know what is being said or done? Since when is a desire to end racism an insult to anyone or political? And you don't think using #GetWokeGoBroke is a partisan insult?  Again, this is who you are."

The spat continued ... with Cruz criticizing Cuban over the NBA's relationship with China.

"I wish @mcuban loved his fans as much as he loves Chinese money."

Cuban again responded -- "Shame on me for putting American Civil Rights and Justice, creating jobs, growing our economy and healthcare reform over twitter proclamations."

Cuban and Cruz have sparred on social media before -- they argued over Black Lives Matter, the national anthem and China back in July as well ... and famously challenged each other to "have some balls."

Clippers' Marcus Morris Fined For Hard Foul on Luka Doncic ... During Game 6

The NBA just hit Marcus Morris with a $35,000 fine for that hard foul on Luka Doncic during Game 6 of the playoff series between the Clippers and Mavs.

Morris and Doncic had been going after each other for the entire series -- things were chippy -- but things came to a head in the 1st quarter of Game 6 when Marcus hit Luka in the face while Doncic was going up for a layup.

A scuffle ensued. The players had to be separated. Morris was ejected from the game.

Now, to make matters worse for Morris ... he's gotta come out of pocket to the tune of $35k for "recklessly striking" Doncic, according to the NBA.

"The amount of the fine was based in part on the fact that Morris has been disciplined on several prior occasions for physical altercations on the court," the NBA said.

Later in the game, a rattled Doncic lost his cool over a foul call -- and threw the ball at the feet of one of the refs.

Doncic argued that he didn't intend to hit the ref -- just bad luck.

The NBA has fined Doncic over that incident to the tune of $15,000.

The Clippers ended up winning the game and the clinching the series, sending Doncic and the Mavs out of the NBA Bubble.

The Clippers are now set to face the Denver Nuggets in the 2nd round of the playoffs -- that series kicks off Thursday.

NBA's Montrezl Harrell Apologizes To Luka ... For 'Bitch Ass White Boy' Comment

Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell apologized to Luka Doncic for calling the Mavs star a "bitch-ass white boy" ... squashing potential beef with a pregame hug and handshake Sunday.

If you missed it ... Harrell went viral Friday for his trash talk of the Dallas point guard -- when cameras caught the L.A. player mouthing the words to Luka after a big first-quarter bucket.

Of course, given the nation's current climate and battle for racial equality ... Montrezl was heavily criticized for the chatter -- with ex-NBA player Jay Williams saying straight-up, "I can only imagine if Luka Doncic had said something like that to you."

Montrezl says he took it upon himself to clear the air with Luka before Game 4 on Sunday ... and in video of their conversation, you can see there was no bad blood at all.

"Nothing but respect for Luka," Harrell said of their pregame embrace. "He understood the heat of the battle and he said it didn’t bother him only RESPECT."

For his part, Luka said he accepted Harrell's apology ... adding, "No worries."

"There’s a lot of emotions on the court, especially this is playoffs," Doncic said. "Sometimes you say things you don’t want to say. He apologized. I respect that, so no problems.”

Clippers coach Doc Rivers says he addressed everything with Harrell in house ... telling reporters over the weekend that Montrezl MUST be more careful with his words.

"I said to him, ‘Hey, I don’t think you meant anything racially by it.’ He said ‘white boy,’ but I don’t think there was anything racial intended," Rivers said. "But we are in a very heightened climate and you have to be careful."

"Trez was the first one to say that. He said, ‘I didn’t mean that racially.’ And I said it doesn’t matter. It’s what’s perceived. ... make sure you do the right thing."

Willie Cauley-Stein Opting Out of NBA Restart ... Expecting Baby In July

Family over everything ... including the NBA.

Dallas Mavericks center Willie Cauley-Stein will NOT join his team in the Orlando bubble when the NBA season resumes ... and it's all because he's got a kid on the way.

The 26-year-old -- the 6th overall pick of the 2015 Draft -- has a baby due in July with his partner and clearly doesn't want to miss that experience, according to The Athletic.

Plus, Florida is experiencing a surge in positive COVID-19 tests ... so it also seems Willie doesn't want to put himself in harm's way while preparing to parent a newborn.

Cauley-Stein was only traded to the Mavs back in January -- and has just played in 13 games with Dallas.

The Mavs are the 7th ranked team in the Western Conference playoff standings -- which means they'll be included in the playoffs.

The regular season resumes on July 30 -- but Mavs players will report on July 8. If the Mavs make a run to the Finals, they would be in the bubble environment all the way until October.

Can you really blame Cauley-Stein for his decision?

Mark Cuban On Mavs Players Kneeling 'Hopefully I'd Join Them'

Mark Cuban has changed his tune -- saying he no longer "expects" his Mavs players to stand for the national anthem ... and he's even considering kneeling with them.

"If [Dallas Mavericks players] were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I'd be proud of them," Cuban said Thursday on "Outside the Lines" ... "Hopefully I'd join them."

Remember, back in 2017 ... Cuban said while he respects people who speak out civilly, he "expects" his players to stand for the anthem with their hands over their hearts.

So, why the change of heart from the Mavs owner in 2020?

"Because I think we've learned a lot since 2017. I think we've evolved as a country," Cuban explained.

"And, this is really a unique point in time where we can grow as a society, we can grow as a country and become far more inclusive."

Current NBA rules state that players and coaches must stand for the national anthem … but Cuban thinks it's time for a change.

When the NBA season does resume next month, Cuban says he hopes league officials will NOT punish players for whatever demonstrations they have in mind.

"Hopefully, we'll allow players to do what's in their heart. Whether it's holding their arm up in the air, whether it's taking a knee, whatever it is, I don't think this is an issue of respect or disrespect to the flag or to the anthem or to our country."

"I think this is more a reflection of our players' commitment to this country and the fact that it's so important to them that they're willing to say what's in their heart and do what they think is right."

Ultimately, Cuban says he'll defer to NBA commish Adam Silver -- but notes, "My hope is we'll let the players do exactly what they think is the right thing to do."

Mark Cuban Fined $500k for Trashing Refs ... Commish Is Pissed!!!

The NBA has hit Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with a $500,000 fine for publicly blasting NBA refs in the wake of a controversial call in a Feb. 22 game.

But, the NBA and Commish Adam Silver are making it clear, they're FURIOUS with Cuban -- and they're hoping the massive fine will send a strong message to the rest of the league.

Here's the deal ... Cuban went CRAZY on the refs and the league over a goaltending call in the final seconds of a Mavericks vs. ATL Hawks game.

Cuban felt the refs did his team dirty and ultimately blamed the officials for the Mavericks ultimately losing the game.

The NBA says, "Immediately after the game ended, Mr. Cuban walked onto the court and approached game officials shaking his head and directing comments toward them."

After the game, Cuban continued to rip the refs to reporters and then sounded off on Twitter.

The NBA says the comments were "highly critical, personal and demeaning to the league and its officiating staff."

Cuban had filed an official protest hoping the league would rule to replay the end of the game -- but his appeal was denied.

In a strongly-worded statement, the league ripped Cuban for his behavior -- saying he's setting a terrible example for the rest of the league, sending a bad message to fans and creating an "intimidating workplace environment."

Here's the official language ...

"It is a recognized part of sports for fans and the media at times to criticize officiating, but team executives must be held to a higher standard."

"A team owner’s effort to influence refereeing decisions during and after a game creates the perception of an unfair competitive advantage and thereby undermines the integrity of the game."

"Demeaning league employees also creates an intimidating workplace environment. With an increased focus on respectful conduct by coaches, players and fans during games, the actions of team executives should set an example and not lower expectations for appropriate behavior in our arenas."

In its statement, the NBA acknowledges "officiating is one of the toughest jobs in sports" -- and says the league is doing everything it can to ensure competitive fairness and integrity.

NBA's Luka Doncic Raged His Face Off At Miami Hot Spot ... For 21st Birthday

Luka Doncic might have lost his Mavericks game on his 21st birthday ... but he DEFINITELY won the after-party!!!

TMZ Sports has learned the NBA superstar got after it Friday night for his bday despite losing to the Heat ... hitting up Miami hot spots with his Mavs teammates and other celebs.

We're told Doncic and the guys got dinner at Papi Steak in Miami Beach before ultimately spending the night at Club LIV.

And, you can see in photos we obtained of the festivities ... Doncic was having a blast -- even at one point getting some partying in with Bad Bunny!!

We're told Mavs owner Mark Cuban threw an especially big bash for his team's best player ... taking over LIV's stage area and popping champagne all night.

As for how the hangover went ... the Mavs were off Saturday -- but Luka still took Dallas' game off against the Timberwolves on Sunday.

The team says it was because of a previous thumb injury ... but we're not so sure we're buying that.

Happy birthday!!!

ATL Braves' Nick Markakis Astros Cheaters 'Need a Beating' Aaron Judge Unloads On Houston

12:25 PM PT -- Aaron Judge is weighing in on the cheating scandal ... saying the Astros' 2017 World Series "wasn't earned" and he believes the title should be stripped.

"I just don't think it holds any value. You cheated and you didn't earn it."

Judge also believes the punishment was too light ... "I wasn't a fan of the punishment, I thought that was a little weak for a player-driven scheme"

Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis just went SCORCHED EARTH on the Houston Astros -- saying he feels the cheating players "needs a beating" for tarnishing the sport he loves.

"It's damaging to baseball," Markakis told WSB's Zach Klein ... "I feel like every single guy over there needs a beating."

Markakis also went off on MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred ... saying he should be "embarrassed of himself" for the way he handled the scandal.

This clip is straight fire -- and it seems like a BUNCH of MLB stars agree with him.

Mark Cuban is ripping Manfred as well -- essentially saying Rob's the laughingstock of pro sports for the way he's handled the Astros cheating scandal.

"Baseball is a mess right now," Cuban said Monday ... "and they have zero vision to see them out of it. I’m thankful they didn’t let me buy a team."

Cuban is clearly pointing out that players and fans are PISSED Manfred is refusing to punish individual players for their role in the cheating scandal that many believe helped Houston win the World Series in 2017.

In fact, people want Manfred to strip the Astros of their '17 title -- but Manfred ain't moving on that.

Everyone from Mike Trout to Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger has spoken out about the way Manfred is handling the issue.

For his part, Manfred says he promised immunity to players who participated in the MLB investigation.

Enter Cuban -- who famously tried (and was unsuccessful) in buying the Texas Rangers back in 2010 ... and now Mark thinks the failed attempt was a blessing in disguise.

Instead, Cuban can continue to focus on his other endeavors ... running the Dallas Mavericks and starring on "Shark Tank."

In case you need a refresher ... the MLB investigation found Astros players and staffers were involved in a complex scheme using cameras, spies and trash cans to alert batters to which pitches they were about to face.

Mike Trout -- the best player in baseball -- says the tip-off is a HUGE advantage to the hitters and creates a ridiculously unfair advantage.

Originally Published -- 7:43 AM PT

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