The Dallas Mavericks revoked the season credentials of ESPN reporters Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon, according to multiple reports:
Stein has covered the NBA for 25 years, most of that time based in Dallas, first with the Dallas Morning News and for the last 14 years with ESPN, and is generally considered to be by far the most knowledgable reporter on the Mavericks. MacMahon has been covering the team for ESPN for the last seven years.
According to Richard Deitsch, they weren’t credentialed for either of the Mavericks’ last two home games:
It wasn’t immediately clear why the Mavericks revoked their credentials—none of their recent articles or tweets suggests anything out of the ordinary. Dallas Morning News columnist and ESPN Around the Horn regular Tim Cowlishaw attributes it to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban being “a moron”:
ESPN released this statement:
“We¹re committed to thoroughly covering the Mavs and the NBA.”
We’ve reached out to the other principals involved, and will update this post if they respond. Given that the NBA gave Mavs Moneyball a placeholder statement and Cuban and the team declined to comment, we aren’t holding our breath.
Update (11:10 p.m. ET): According to Tim Cato, the credentials were revoked because Tim MacMahon moved from being a Mavericks beat reporter to being a national NBA reporter this season.
While this makes some amount of sense (though is still incredible dumb, petty, and shortsighted) regarding MacMahon, Stein hasn’t covered the Mavericks as a beat in at least a decade.
Update (11:50 p.m. ET): We were reminded of an incident well-covered on this site eight years ago, when Mark Cuban banned all bloggers from the locker room, likely in retaliation for a negative story Tim MacMahon had blogged.
Predictably, that ban didn’t last, and we suspect this one won’t either.