Late on Friday night, Bleacher Report tweeted video of Dirk Nowitzki air-balling a three-point attempt with the text “Dirk Forever.” The sad Price is Right Music was added at the end.
UPDATE: The Nowitzki tweet has been deleted.
It wasn’t a great tweet, a particularly clever tweet or, like most tweets, entirely necessary. It also wasn’t the most provocative content posted on Twitter that hour, minute, or even second.
So that’s why Mark Cuban’s extraordinarily strong response is surprising. The Dallas Mavericks owner suggested Bleacher Report delete its account while posting email communication he’d had with Turner president David Levy.
Cuban sent out screenshots of three emails between himself and Levy to his 6.4 million followers. The Big Lead is not embedding them but they can be found rather easily elsewhere. In the first, Cuban asks Levy for an immediate apology and inquires who on the Bleacher Report staff found such a post “remotely acceptable.”
Cuban told Deadspin that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was also copied.
Levy’s response is very gracious. He begins by mentioning meeting Cuban in New Orleans last weekend and a vow to follow up with his social media team. He then adds that sometimes millennial-aimed content requires bold tag lines around bloopers.
Cuban isn’t having it and closes the third email with: “This is an issue where if it’s not down immediately, I’ll communicate with the Millenials (sic) in the way I know how to.”
Shortly after Cuban tweeted and deleted those emails, Bleacher Report deleted the original Dirk tweet. Mission accomplished.
On one hand, Cuban’s commitment to having Nowitzki’s back is impressive. Would that we all had a boss who fought so passionately for our interests.
On the other hand, it was just an airball. And “Dirk Forever” isn’t entirely demeaning. I’d go a step further and say that an airballed three-point attempt isn’t even a blooper. It happens. It’s not exactly on par with Steve Lyons pulling down his pants or 50 Cent’s first pitch.
In the end, it appears Cuban’s strong-armed approach worked. People will now have to search very hard for footage of Nowitzki airballing a shot.
Once could say they might have to look for Dirk forever.