What's buzzing:

Ball Don't Lie

Mark Cuban heckles former Mavericks center Brendan Haywood, now on the Bobcats but still cashing Mark’s checks

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

View photo

.

The first face Mark Cuban saw after his team won the championship was Brendan Haywood's (Getty Images)

At first glance, you kind of want to rip Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for heckling opposing players. Mark's in his mid-50s, now, and has been associated with the NBA as a team owner for nearly 13 years. He doesn't exactly have to show up to his bench-side seat in a suit and clap politely, but shouldn't some decorum have taken over by now?

Eh, forget that. It's probably not how we would have acted in the same situation, but Cuban is well within his rights to give former Mavs center Brendan Haywood a bit of stick during a recent performance in Charlotte that bore no resemblance to Haywood's iffy three-year run with the Mavs. From the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell:

Haywood had a good night — 14 points and 11 rebounds — and he got a little playful with the crowd. After hitting a fadeaway jump shot, he back-pedaled to the defensive end while making the finger-to-the-lips "shhhhhh'' signal.

I laughed because it was the most swagger I'd seen from a Bobcat since Stephen Jackson departed. And it was fun, not combative.

Somebody in the stands responded well, though. During the next timeout a fan shouted, "Hey Haywood! It would have taken you a month to score 12 points last season!''

I asked Haywood about all the joshing post-game. He told me the real trash-talker was from Mavs owner Mark Cuban, who shouted something at him every time he took a shot.

[Related: NBA adds two female referees to its league-wide crew]

You've heard the ages-old heckler retort — "I paid for this seat, I can say what I want!" Well, Cuban's taken that to an even higher level.

Not only did he pay for the seat on the bench of the team he owns, but he's also paying most of Haywood's salary even if Brendan is currently a member of the Charlotte Bobcats. The Mavericks waived Haywood last summer using the NBA's amnesty provision, but Cuban personally is still on the hook for the remaining guaranteed three years on Haywood's contract. The Bobcats signed Brendan to a two-year, $6 million deal last summer, but Cuban will still be paying the difference between Haywood's waived Dallas deal (about $5 million a year) and his new Charlotte contract.

So, just as long as Mark keeps it light (and, considering Haywood's struggles during the 2011-12 season, "nearly accurate") and doesn't go anywhere near the sort of nasty tone that marked Donald Sterling's sickening rants sent at Baron Davis a while back, then we're more than OK with this early season chatter.

[Related: Report: NBA has decided on 2014 date to introduce ads on jerseys]

And especially as long as Cuban's charitable touch, so far away from Sterling's performance in that area that you need a NASA technology to measure the distance between the two, stays in place. From Eddie Sefko at the Dallas Morning News:

"His name is Braeden and he's going through chemotherapy,'' Cuban said. "We met before the game and he was really smart talking about the Mavericks. He knew his stuff. After the game, he came to say goodbye and gave me the wristband.''

Cuban continued wearing the band as a show of support.

Meanwhile, Cuban expounded on his decision to donate $1-million to the relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

"It's one of those things that: there but for the grace of God go I,'' Cuban said. "I just thought it was the right thing to do. It was my personal responsibility.''

And, once again, if you want to help the same relief efforts that Cuban has donated to, the Red Cross is a good place to start.

More news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Y! News: How to help relief efforts for Superstorm Sandy | Photos
UK not considering hiring Bobby Petrino after firing Joker Phillips
The ultimate 2012 MLB free agent tracker
Y! Match: Best age to be single and dating

View Comments (378)
  • Froome in charge after crash-marred Tour de France third stage

    Froome in charge after crash-marred Tour de France third stage

    By Julien Pretot HUY, Belgium (Reuters) - Chris Froome seized early control of the Tour de France, the 2013 champion snatching the yellow jersey after a crash-marred third stage won by Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez on Monday. Katusha rider Rodriguez … More »

    Reuters - 14 minutes ago
  • Mayweather stripped of title he won in Pacquiao fight

    Mayweather stripped of title he won in Pacquiao fight

    (Reuters) - Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been stripped of the welterweight world title he won after beating Filipino Manny Pacquiao this year for failing to comply with rules, the World Boxing Organization said on Monday. Mayweather, who improved to … More »

    Reuters - 41 minutes ago
  • Ghana skipper Gyan to leave Al Ain for China: report

    Ghana skipper Gyan to leave Al Ain for China: report

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Ghana captain and striker Asamoah Gyan is expected to leave Emirati champions Al Ain and sign a lucrative deal with Chinese Super League title challengers Shanghai SIPG, local media reported. Gyan, who has scored 95 goals in 83 … More »

    Reuters - 43 minutes ago
  • Pakistan beat Sri Lanka to clinch three-match series

    (Reuters) - Younus Khan remained unbeaten after a brilliant 171 as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the final test to win the three-match series 2-1 at Pallekele on Tuesday. Chasing a daunting 377-run victory target, skipper Misbah-ul-Haq … More »

    Reuters - 46 minutes ago
  • Pakistan beat Sri Lanka to clinch series

    (Reuters) - Younus Khan remained unbeaten after a brilliant 171 as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the final test to win the three-match series 2-1 at Pallekele on Tuesday. Chasing a daunting 377-run victory target, skipper Misbah-ul-Haq … More »

    Reuters - 56 minutes ago