Retired FBI agent: Mark Cuban asked him to investigate NBA refs

Mark Cuban

Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban yells during Game 6 against the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center in Dallas on May 2, 2014. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)




Posted on May 19, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Updated Monday, May 19 at 8:09 PM

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn’t always like NBA referees. We get that.

But an investigation led by a former FBI agent? Apparently that’s what happened after the 2006 NBA Finals, when the Mavericks lost to the Miami Heat in a controversial six-game series. (You might recall Dwyane Wade shooting free throws; that’s because Dwyane Wade shot 97 free throws in that one series alone.)

The (Portland) Oregonian‘s John Canzano did a five-part investigation on NBA officiating and included this anecdote:

Retired FBI agent Warren Flagg, a 20-year veteran of the bureau, said he consulted with Cuban after that playoff debacle. Flagg now runs his own New York-based investigation and security firm. He looked deep into officiating, as Flagg said, Cuban was considering a lawsuit.

“Cuban asked me what he should do,” Flagg said of the 2006 Finals. “I told him, ‘Sue and you’ll win your case,’ but he knew he’d be killing the Golden Goose.”

When asked about his discussions with Flagg, Cuban said: “I don’t remember.”

Yeah, an owner suing his own league probably is not a good move for business.

Cuban’s paranoia did coincide with the Tim Donaghy game-fixing conspiracy, though. And Dwyane Wade shot so many free throws.