5) Mark Cuban and his assets
Yes, you can have a rivalry with an owner. The Nets and Mavericks only play two games per season, so their regular season matchups don’t hold much value. This one’s mostly fought through the media.
This feud arose during the 2010 season, when Cuban called Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov a “p—y.” Prokhorov later challenged Cuban to a kickboxing match.
If that wasn’t enough, the feud turned to basketball in the 2012 offseason. Nets franchise point guard Deron Williams was a free agent and contemplating between taking a max deal in Brooklyn or returning home to Dallas. Williams eventually chose the Nets, and mentioned that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was not present in his meeting with Dallas, assuming that factored into his decision. Cuban said he was filming his television show “Shark Tank” at the time.
The two teams met a few months prior to the offseason rumble around the 2012 trade deadline. Dallas had high hopes to use their contract flexibility to rebuild a championship contender only one season removed from their 2011 NBA championship by bringing in Williams and star center Dwight Howard. Williams had mutual interest to play with Howard, and he welcomed the idea of starting a new era with him in Brooklyn over heading to Dallas. Howard was on the verge of being sent to New Jersey until he gave his spurious “loyalty” speech after opting into the final season of his deal with Orlando, only to be traded to the Lakers at the season’s end.
Brooklyn was in premature “Dwightmare” discussions after the season, but that quickly ended once Brook Lopez signed on long-term. Dallas struck out.
Based on what Brooklyn has received from Deron Williams in his $98 million max contract up to this point, Cuban could be deemed as the clear winner in the offseason clash, but the choleric Cuban keeps this arms race going.
And don’t forget: the Nets shipped Jason Kidd to Dallas in 2007, after he forced a trade out of New Jersey, and he finally won his first and only title with the Mavericks in 2011. That was a spiteful moment for older Nets fans, who wanted him to accomplish that in either of his two NBA finals appearances in New Jersey.