To both sports fans and the Black community at-large, Dallas Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban may have done more harm than good with his apology to a player.
Depending on which witness you believe, Cuban called Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin either a thug or a punk, addressing Martin's mother in the crowd after a controversial loss to Denver over the weekend.
The end of Saturday's game turned personal -- and possibly racial -- after the flamboyant Cuban's Mavericks dropped a third game when officials failed to call a strategic foul that should've prevented Denver's game-winning shot.
So obvious was the mistake that the NBA later acknowledged it, but reports have it that Cuban called out to Lydia Moore, "That includes your son," when a fan referred to the Nuggets as "thugs."
Martin's agent later told a Denver newspaper that the word "punk" was used. Either way, Cuban wrote "An Apology to Kenyon Martin's Mom" in his blog after Monday night's win by the Mavericks, stating: "I should have not said anything and I was wrong."
But even Dallas fans question the most high-profile NBA team owner's sincerity since it came two days later and only after Cuban's team won a game to save its season. Denver leads Dallas 3-1 in a best-of-seven, elimination series.
If Cuban used or co-signed the word "thug" in reference to Martin, his verbal attack on the Black player could be seen as doubly offensive. But he made no clarification in his blog entry, nor did he respond to Martin's request that they speak face-to-face.
Denver star Carmelo Anthony told media after Monday's game that he and teammates all felt that Cuban was out of line.