Mark Cuban, who runs the Dallas Mavericks, tweeted a defense of intentional fouling strategy on Sunday. He has since deleted his tweets (directed at ESPN's J.A. Adande, who was among those complaining as DeAndre Jordan shot 28 free throws in the first half of Game 4 of the Clippers-Rockets series on Sunday). Cuban is prone to deleting tweets, and in fact has invested in a Twitter rival whose main draw is impermanence.
In one tweet Cuban said he's seen the second-by-second ratings for games in which intentional fouling is employed, and the incessant hacking doesn't affect viewership at all. Cool. That fact, while reassuring for Cuban and his buddies in the NBA Governors Club, does nothing to make the strategy any less horribly boring. Like, the fact that an element of the game isn't actively driving away customers isn't really a very strong endorsement.
In another tweet, Cuban said:
better chance there is a parent saying ‘come watch this. This is why you practice free throws’
Okay. Let's game out such a conversation.
DAD: "Daughter, son. Come over here and watch this man fail repeatedly."
[kids watch hack-a-Jordan]
DAUGHTER: "Why are they making him shoot free throws?
SON: "I thought basketball was exciting?"
DAD: "You see, he's bad at free throws. He didn't practice them when he was your age, like I did. I used to practice my free throws every night before dinner. Practice makes perfect. This lug clearly didn't practice, and he's paying for it now."
DAUGHTER: "But his team is winning."
SON: "And his team is scoring some points, while the other team is not."
DAUGHTER: "And don't you run out of fouls eventually?"
SON: "How does this make sense in any way?"
DAD: "Well, you see, they are trying to get the other coach to take him out."
DAUGHTER: "It's not working."
SON: "This is awful. Can we watch baseball?"
DAD: "NEVER. I, uh, just wanted to show you why it's important to practice your free throws."
SON: "But I play soccer."
DAUGHTER: "What's the guy's name? DeAndre Jordan?" [pulls out phone, Googles DeAndre Jordan salary] "Dad, how much do you make?"
DAUGHTER: "DeAndre Jordan makes $11.4 million per season. Do you make that much?"
DAD: "Well ... that's beside the--"
SON: "Can you buy me a new phone?"
DAD: "Son, I told you ..."
SON: "DeAndre Jordan could afford to buy me a new phone. Why can't you?"
DAD: "Kids, this is ..."
[DeAndre Jordan finishes a ridiculous alley-oop]
DAUGHTER: "Can you do that, Dad? I mean, since you practiced so much you should be able to dunk like that."
DAD: "It's not quite that simp--"
DAUGHTER: "You said practice makes perfect. Do you even practice one-handed lob finishes?"
SON: "Dad, maybe you should be practicing one-handed lob finishes instead of sitting in your chair eating chips."
DAUGHTER: "DeAndre Jordan doesn't look like he sits in a chair and eats chips."
SON: "Maybe if you sat less and practiced one-handed lob finishes more, you could buy me a new phone."
[Dad switches the baseball]
DeAndre Jordan's 34 free throws set to the sweet sounds of 'Roundball Rock'