The Dallas Mavericks have revoked the season media credentials of two Dallas-based ESPN writers, Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon, according to multiplereports.
While it is not unheard of for teams to revoke credentials to reporters over coverage, there doesn't appear to be anything that either Stein or MacMahon have written recently that would justify this type of action. Rather, it appears that the decision was made because the two were not covering the Mavericks enough.
According to Tim Cato of MavsMoneyBall, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made the decision because he was upset that MacMahon's new role at ESPN this season. For the past seven years, MacMahon had covered the Mavericks beat full-time, whereas this season he has transitioned to writing more broadly about the NBA on a national level, and thus covers Cuban's team less often.
That explanation doesn't account for Stein, who has been a national NBA writer for years and hasn't been on the Mavs beat for a decade. One possible explanation is that Cuban is unhappy with writers using his team's home games to cover other teams.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated noted that neither reporter had been credentialed for the two most recent Mavericks home games.
2. Told Mavs did not credential the two reporters on Friday and Sunday night. I reached out to the Mavs. Will let you know. https://t.co/OUrNhCJcPt
Both ESPN and the NBA released bland statements saying they were committed to working together and expediently resolving the matter.
This isn't the first time that Cuban has lashed out against media covering his team, as Deadspin noted. In 2008, he banned all bloggers from the locker room because he was unhappy with a post written by none other than MacMahon. That matter was resolved quickly, and this one will probably be, too.
The NBA season is not even one month old, though the Mavs are struggling out of the gate at 1-5.
Ben Simmons is out for the foreseeable future, but Joel Embiid is averaging 17 points in just 21 minutes per game. Philly will limit his playing time, and rightfully so, but he'll at least be a bright spot through all the losing they'll do this season.
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
29. Suns (0-4)
Last Week: 27
Phoenix has a number of young players, and under coach Earl Watson in his first full season, this season will largely be dedicated toward figuring out exactly how talented they are.
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27. Lakers (1-3)
Last Week: 28
With Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant no longer in the picture, the focus is solely on developing the Lakers' young talent. It will result in lots of losses, but we'll get a good read on which young Lakers have a chance to stick around.
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26. Pelicans (0-4)
Last Week: 21
Please, Pelicans, please, get Anthony Davis some help. New Orleans is 0-4 despite AD's 37 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and three blocks a night. That's just depressing.
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23. Mavericks (0-3)
Last Week: 17
Very rich newcomer Harrison Barnes has enjoyed an increased role thus far with the Mavs, averaging 20 points over three games and shooting 5-of-11 from three. The offense as a whole, though, hasn't shot the ball well at all, and Andrew Bogut can only help so much on the defensive end.
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22. Wizards (0-2)
Last Week: 15
It's been a struggle on both ends for Washington, with John Wall shooting just 11-of-34 thus far and opponents shooting 47.2 percent and 47.4 from three-point range.
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
21. Nuggets (1-2)
Last Week: 25
Denver hasn't shot the ball well, but great three-point defense has been a bright spot, limiting opponents to just 5.7 made threes a game.
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
20. Knicks (1-2)
Last Week: 18
Jeff Hornacek is still figuring out the proper rotations, but it's clear -- at least in the early going -- that Joakim Noah is a major boost for New York. Derrick Rose, though, with only six assists through three games, is still attempting to adjust to playing in lineups where he isn't the first or second option offensively.
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19. Grizzlies (2-2)
Last Week: 22
Memphis' success is tied into the health of a handful of players that can never seem to stay healthy. If everything breaks right, they'll be among the West's playoff contenders. But we just can't put a ton of confidence in that happening.
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18. Bucks (2-2)
Last Week: 16
Jason Kidd is putting out the lineups he think will work best, with Greg Monroe playing just 21 minutes off the bench. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the star, stuffing the stat sheet every night. But with their two wins coming against the Nets and Pelicans, they've yet to figure it out as a group.
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16. Heat (2-2)
Last Week: 26
It'll be a struggle for Miami to string together success without Chris Bosh, but the remaining contributors have performed well thus far. Goran Dragic is averaging 20 and seven and Hassan Whiteside sits at 19.8 points and 13.8 rebounds. Erik Spoelstra knows how to utilize his pieces well, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see impressive cohesion from Miami's bunch.
(Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
15. Jazz (2-2)
Last Week: 13
Will the Jazz ever cure themselves of the injury bug? Already without Gordon Hayward for several more weeks, Alec Burks will now miss significant time while recovering from knee and ankle surgeries. George Hill has been a bright spot, averaging more than 20 points, and Rudy Gobert is hauling down 12 boards a game. But they'll need have a tough time breaking into the elite tier in the West without their primary contributors.
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14. Pacers (2-2)
Last Week: 10
Paul George is playing like a star and Myles Turner is proving his worth as a breakout candidate this season, but a loss to the Brooklyn Nets was fairly inexplicable, and they followed it up by getting blown out in Chicago. Jeff Teague is shooting 11-of-50 from the field over the four games, which, well, can only get better from here, right?
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13. Hornets (2-1)
Last Week: 14
While the Hornets have held opponents to 42.5 percent shooting overall, they've allowed near-40-percent shooting from beyond the arc, which ranks 27th in the league. Steve Clifford's team will have trouble scoring three-pointers of their own, but enough versatile players throughout their lineup should keep them in contention most of the time.
(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
12. Pistons (3-1)
Last Week: 8
Andre Drummond is already proving that last season wasn't a fluke, with a pair of 20-rebounds games in four tries this year. Ish Smith is holding down the point guard duties well in Reggie Jackson's absence, averaging nearly 11 and eight, and the team should only get stronger once their point guard returns.
(Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
10. Trail Blazers (2-2)
Last Week: 9
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have combined for 54 points a night on average, but defense has been a major Achilles heel through four games. They've yet to hold an opponent under 104 points and have given up more than 113 in all but one game. Still, their efficient offense should be enough to keep them competitive.
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9. Bulls (3-0)
Last Week: 19
Three games in, the Chicago Bulls lead the NBA in three-point shooting percentage -- just like we all expected. It's played a major part in the team posting a league-best 117.6 offensive rating, but we're skeptical that they'll be able to keep this up over a larger sample.
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
8. Hawks (3-0)
Last Week: 12
Paul Milsap has been leading the offensive charge for Atlanta with 19.3 points, and Dennis Schroder has orchestrated the eight-most efficient offense in the league. Defense has led the way -- they're allowing just 89.5 points per 100 possessions through three games -- as the Hawks stand as one of three remaining undefeateds in the East.
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
4. Clippers (3-0)
Last Week: 3
Six Clippers currently are scoring in double-figures, and things are looking good in LA. Games against the Thunder and Spurs await this week though, where we'll get a good idea how how they'll stack up.
(Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)
3. Warriors (3-1)
Last Week: 1
After a rocky opening night, the mighty Warriors have recovered to win three straight, most recently against Portland despite Damian Lillard's 31 points. As far as the scoring breakdown, Kevin Durant has posted 28.4 points nightly on 57-percent shooting, while Stephen Curry has dropped 26.3 points on average. Klay Thompson has added 16.8 points and Draymond Green is averaging 9.3 points but a team-high 11 boards and 7.8 assists.
(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
1. Cavaliers (4-0)
Last Week: 2
One week in, the Cavs' title defense is going as well as they could've imagined. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are all averaging more than 20 points, while the team ranks second in offensive efficiency.