Last night, Bleacher Report tweeted out a video of Dirk Nowitzki shooting an air ball, captioned “DIRK FOREVER”:
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was apparently incensed enough by the joke to personally complain to the president of Bleacher Report’s parent company, Turner, until they deleted it.
Earlier this afternoon, Cuban demanded an apology via email for the tweet from Turner president David Levy under the subject “Are you fucking kidding me?” When Levy responded by saying that “bold tag lines” are sometimes needed to get millennials to share content, Cuban fired back with a bizarre ultimatum: delete the tweet immediately, or he’d “communicate with the millennials” in the way he knew best.
Bleacher Report did not delete the tweet right away, and so Cuban went ahead and backed up his threat to communicate with the millennials. A little while later, Cuban tweeted screenshots of their exchange alongside the message “@BleacherReport-Delete Your Account.”
Cuban confirmed to Deadspin that the “Adam” copied on the email was NBA commissioner Adam Silver, as he and Levy are “two people I deal with re BR.”
About 20 minutes after Cuban shared the screenshots, Bleacher Report backed down and deleted their joke—choosing, apparently, to prioritize the hurt feelings of a team owner over the Bleacher Report social media team’s editorial judgement. With the Nowitzki joke deleted, Cuban deleted his own tweet with the screenshots of his conversation with Levy.
Cuban told Deadspin in an email that he had interpreted the tweet as “mean-spirited,” rather than a joke (sic throughout): “If They would have had said ‘ happens to the best of them ‘ or even ‘close the door ‘. Something that offered some humor, Great I never would have said a word.”
Bleacher Report did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but did tweet this: