If you'll indulge us for a moment, Dallas we're going to briefly revisit one of the darkest points in our city's history, a time when an unspeakable tragedy plunged millions into a state of bewildered mourning from whence sprang talk of shadowy conspiracies.
We're referring, of course, to the 2006 NBA Finals, when the Dallas Mavericks had the title ripped from their grasp by the pre-Lebron Miami Heat. Up 2-0 and rolling, the Mavs dropped four straight through some combo of subpar play, Dwyane Wade, and terrible officiating.
It still smarts a bit, all these years later, but we're not dredging up the series out of a sense of masochism. Rather, The Oregonian's John Canzano has uncovered a bit of new information:
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."
If Flagg was fibbing, dropping salacious allegations to draw attention to his firm, Cuban would presumably say so. We'll take his non-denial to mean yes, all that happened. Which is great.
Cuban issued an actual denial on Tuesday afternoon:
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To set the record straight. I have never hired or consulted with any former FBI agents to investigate our 2006 Finals.
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 20, 2014
The Oregonian piece doesn't detail the precise nature of the alleged skulduggery, but it presumably involved refs sitting in a back room and plotting to give Wade as many free throw attempts as possible. He went to the line 97 times during the six-game series, including 25 trips in the Heat's pivotal 101-100 Game 5 win.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.