Nothing about Mark Cuban’s decision to ban ESPN reporters from covering the Dallas Mavericks appeared to make any sense. He barred national writers Marc Stein and Tim McMahon, the latter covered the team exclusively for years, because ESPN no longer had a dedicated Mavericks beat reporter with McMahon now having more national duties.
ESPN still wanted a presence at Mavericks games, just not a full-time one. Cuban’s response was to forego some coverage from the biggest sports entity in the world, opting instead for no coverage.
SB Nation got Cuban’s rationale for doing this and, as expected, doesn’t follow any sort of logic.
“This wasn’t about editorial,” Cuban told SB Nation in an email Monday. “It wasn’t about a reduction in number of games [covered] this year.”
Instead, Cuban wrote that he’s worried about a lack of “high quality, in depth coverage of every game,” combined with an increased reliance on wire services. The clash was also at least partially influenced by MacMahon’s changing role at ESPN, according to multiple sources.
“If I did nothing and the trend towards more and more games being covered by wire reporters continues, then it could get to the point where it was too late,” Cuban wrote. “I felt like if I didn’t do it now, I wouldn’t have a chance to stop or slow what I felt was a negative trend for the Mavs and NBA.”