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NBA Lockout: Mark Cuban Appearance With Mavericks During ESPYs Cleared In Advance By League

Mark Cuban appeared during Wednesday's ESPYs award show with players from the Dallas Mavericks, drawing a chorus of questions as to whether the team would be subject to a $1 million fine under the league's strict rules against team-player communication during the NBA lockout. But an NBA spokesman tells that the joint appearance was cleared in advanced by the league office.

As the lockout began July 1, reports surfaced suggesting that David Stern had warned team owners and executives that communication -- direct or indirect -- with players during the stoppage could result in fines as hefty as $1 million and even the potential loss of draft picks. But as has been the case with the NFL lockout, the league is making exceptions for promotional and personal events cleared in advance.

The Mavericks won the ESPY for "Best Team," narrowly defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rick Carlisle took home the ESPY for "Best Coach/Manager" and Dirk Nowitzki won both "Best Male Athlete" and "Best NBA Player." The ESPYs are an annual excuse for athletes and celebrities to mingle and get hammered on ESPN's dime.