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NBA Playoff Notebook: Cuban, K-Mart’s mom square off

Associated Press
The NBA notebook …
DALLAS ó An unlikely sideshow developed prior to Monday night’s Game 4 of the Mavericks-Nuggets series: Mark Cuban vs. Kenyon Martin’s mother.
The billionaire team owner and local mom became linked because of a brief confrontation in the heated aftermath of Game 3, when Denver benefited from an NBA-acknowledged officiating mistake and beat Dallas 106-105 for a 3-0 series lead.
Cuban stalked across the court, blew off steam at the scorer’s table, then headed down a hall leading away from the court. Lydia Moore, wearing a Nuggets jersey, was standing near the base of the section he walked past, clearly in his view.
According to Cuban, a fan called the Nuggets “thugs” and he looked at Moore and said, “That includes your son.” However, Martin’s agent told the Denver Post that Cuban said, “Your son is a punk.”
On Monday, Cuban would only say, “I’m happy to let her sit next to me. I’ve got no problem with Mrs. Martin.”
Martin doesn’t do interviews during the open locker room period before tipoff, but during Monday morning’s shootaround he vowed to handle things himself.
“It’s a little personal, and I’m going to take care of it,” he said. “I’m not going to do the whole media thing, back and forth. That’s his thing. I’m more of a face-to-face type of dude.”
APOLOGIZE, BIG BABY
ORLANDO, Fla. ó The father of the 12-year-old boy bumped by Celtics big man Glen “Big Baby” Davis after Sunday’s game-winning shot is demanding an apology.
Ernest Provetti told the Orlando Sentinel that he wrote the NBA office demanding an apology from Davis for acting like a “raging animal with no regard for fans’ personal safety.”
Video of the play shows Davis ducking behind a referee and stepping out of bounds as he ran back to the Celtics bench. Provetti told the paper it was his son, Nicholas, whose hat fell off as Davis bumped him.
TRIANO SAYS ‘THANKS’
TORONTO ó Jay Triano signed a three-year contract Monday to coach the Toronto Raptors, dropping the interim tag after taking over the team during the season.
Triano was promoted Dec. 3 after Sam Mitchell’s dismissal.
The Raptors went 25-40 under Triano but finished strong, going 9-4 in their final 13 games.
DILEO SAYS, ‘NO THANKS’
PHILADELPHIA ó Philadelphia 76ers interim coach Tony DiLeo has withdrawn his name from consideration for the permanent coaching job.
Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski said DiLeo decided Monday to return to his old job in the front office, citing family reasons. DiLeo has two sons ó T.J., a freshman who plays for Temple’s basketball team, and Max, a sophomore in high school.
“A coaching job in the NBA is 24-7,” Stefanski said. “He felt it was a good move on his part.”
KINGS SEARCH
SACRAMENTO, Calif. ó The Sacramento Kings plan to interview Paul Westphal this week for their coaching vacancy.
Interim coach Kenny Natt was fired last month after the Kings finished with the NBA’s worst record at 17-65. The new coach will be Sacramento’s fourth since 2006.
MULLIN OUT
OAKLAND, Calif. ó The Golden State Warriors have let go executive vice president of basketball operations Chris Mullin, nearly a year after the former star player apparently lost his authority to run the troubled franchise.
MOST IMPROVED
INDIANAPOLIS ó The agent for Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger says he expects the All-Star forward to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.
He rewarded the team by averaging 25.8 points per game and being selected to the All-Star team for the first time.
BING SWORN IN
DETROIT ó Businessman and former NBA star Dave Bing is now the mayor of Detroit, and the third person to hold the job in eight months.
The former Detroit Pistons great took the oath of office Monday afternoon.
Bing beat incumbent Ken Cockrel Jr. in a special runoff election.
Kilpatrick resigned in September before serving a jail sentence for lying in court. Cockrel succeeded Kilpatrick because he was City Council president, and he returns to that post now that Bing is mayor.
Bing is expected to tackle a budget deficit estimated at $250 million to $300 million.
The 65-year-old Bing has said he’ll run for a full, four-year term that begins in 2010.

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