Mark Cuban calls Mikhail Prokhorov a rude word

Thursday night, on an exercise bike and before Dallas' semi-rout of the New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov a five-letter expletive that can be used to describe a cat, but is mostly pulled out in order to address the lack of gumption and/or bravery in a particular subject. As in, "Steve, you don't want to give the kid a whack with the circular saw? What a [describe that cat!]"

The New York Daily News Tweeted about it Thursday night, and Friday the very important news hit the morning papers:

If this turns into anything more than playful teasing from one outspoken NBA owner to another, let it be known that Mark Cuban threw the first punch at Mikhail Prokhorov.

And he started with a haymaker.

"He's a p---y," Cuban quipped Thursday when asked about Prokhorov.

Cuban, who spoke while on his exercise bike in the Mavericks locker room, lifted his head up to smile, and then continued to verbally jab at the Nets' new owner.

"(Prokhorov) doesn't come to games," Cuban said. "Who the hell knows?"

Here's my issue ... who the hell knows what Mark is even talking about?

The circumstances behind this conversation are pretty vague. Is there legitimate beef there? And if not (which we're suspecting), how is this funny?

We've all said stupid things on the treadmill before ("my calorie count is up to 700; fifth day in a row!"), but this all seems a bit strange. We suspect there is no enmity there, but the usual "I'm Mark Cuban and I'm slightly put off by something like someone being compared to me but not actually being like me because he doesn't go to games or know who Popeye Jones is" passive/aggressiveness.

Who the hell knows?

UPDATE: Al Iannazzone of the Bergen Record was also in the scrum, and this is how he recorded and transcribed the conversation:

"He's a [baby]," Cuban said while riding an exercise bike. "He doesn't come to any games. Who the hell knows?"

Later Cuban was talking about the expectations being much different for Avery Johnson with the Nets than it was when he coached Dallas.

"If Prokhorov shows the guts I showed to make deals, you never know," Cuban said. "I'm just having fun. Maybe if they pull a trade before the trade deadline all that changes. People expect him to come in and spend money. We just haven't seen it. That's his choice."

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