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Seat Choice Costs Mavs Owner

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined again by the NBA, this time $100,000 for sitting on the baseline during Dallas' game in Minneapolis.

"I wasn't aware this was finable, there isn't a rule against it," Cuban said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "They said it wasn't fitting for an owner to sit there. Ridiculous."

It was the fifth time this season and second time in a week that commissioner David Stern has fined Cuban. So far, Cuban has been assessed $395,000. The previous four fines, including one for $250,000 on Jan. 4, were made for criticism of officials.

The dot.com billionaire owner said he is not concerned that the increasing number of fines might detract from the Mavericks' success on the floor this season. Dallas was 24-14 after a 102-94 loss to Milwaukee on Thursday night.

"The Mavs' play stands on its own. When the ball goes up, the cameras are on the players, and no one cares what I do but David Stern," Cuban said.

Cuban sat alongside Dallas trainers and reserves during his team's 106-86 victory over Timberwolves on Wednesday night, claiming there were no open seats behind the bench and he did not want to take one of the coach's seats.

Cuban's collision with the league began Nov. 14, when he was fined $5,000 for criticizing officials. On Nov. 20, he was fined $15,000 after being escorted off the court following the game. Two days later, the price went up to $25,000 for verbally abusing and publicly criticizing officials.

On Jan. 4, Cuban was fined $250,000 when he criticized officials and showed replays on a scoreboard of a disputed call that went against the Mavericks.

Cuban, who became a billionaire in 1999 when the company he co-founded, Broadcast.com, was sold to Yahoo!, has said the league needs to monitor officials better. He claims to have charts showing how his team has been treated unfairly.

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