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For a league in which the average franchise value is $2.12 billion according to a recent report by Forbes, the people running the NBA may not have the best grasp of high finance if the latest disciplinary action against an owner is any indication.

The alternative take is that the NBA just let Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban off with a slap on the wristband because his latest Twitter rant may have been over the top but possibly justified.

Mark Cuban has been fined by the NBA again

The NBA announced Friday that the Dallas Mavericks’ protest over what transpired late in a Feb. 22 loss to the Atlanta Hawks has been rejected and that owner Mark Cuban has been fined $500,000 for going on Twitter to criticize the officiating.

The short story on the play in question: Atlanta guard Trae Young drove for a layup and Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith was called for goaltending. Seemingly innocuously, the Hawks’ John Collins gathered up the deflection and made the put-back. The situation became controversial when a replay review determined that there was no goaltending but that Collins’ basket should count despite a referee’s whistle beforehand.

Cuban went on Twitter and excoriated the officials for the way the call was handled, leading to the fine. That brings the total for the fines that have been announced against Cuban since purchasing the franchise in 2000 to at least $2.9 million. The sum includes $600,000 in 2018 for openly suggesting that the Mavericks tank the season to move up in the NBA draft.

How can Mark Cuban’s fines be put into perspective?

It’s not news that Mark Cuban is rich. One estimate last year pegged his net worth at $3.9 billion after a series of savvy business decisions including buying internet radio company Audionet and growing it into a massive streaming service that was rebranded as and sold to Yahoo for $5.7 billion.

In that context, the latest fine levied by the NBA qualifies as almost meaningless to Cuban. The half-million dollars is equivalent to a fine of approximately $32 for a person with a net worth of $250,000. A career total of around $3 million in fines for Cuban works out to less than one monthly car payment for many of the fans attending NBA games.

However, a report after Cuban was fined $100,000 by the league in 2014 – again over his criticism of officiating – indicated that the Mavericks owner has been making matching donations to charity each time he’s been docked by the NBA.

Cuban isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers

Mark Cuban has been a longtime baseball fan and made several attempts over the years to purchase MLB teams only to be rebuffed. He spoke out last month over the way the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal was handled by saying he was grateful that he was never able to buy a team.

Arguably the most famous incident involving Cuban criticizing NBA officiating came in 2002 when he dragged an unrelated business into the controversy by telling reporters that the NBA director of officials “wouldn’t be able to manage a Dairy Queen.”

Dairy Queen executives took umbrage and responded by telling Cuban to try spending time in one of their stores to see how well the managers perform their duties. Cuban accepted the invitation and worked a shift at the Dairy Queen in Coppell, Texas.