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Cuban: No 'Dust Bowl Division'
Owner: NBA in OKC doesn't help league

By Darnell Mayberry Published: April 9, 2008
In voicing his opposition to the Seattle SuperSonics relocating to Oklahoma City, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban actually coined a pretty catchy division name should the move go through.

"The Dust Bowl Division.”

"My prejudice is against having a Dust Bowl Division in this part of the country,” Cuban said before his Mavs hosted the Sonics on Tuesday night. "I don't think in the big picture that helps the NBA. I think a bigger market helps the NBA.

"My preference is that they stay in Seattle. That's my preference.”

Cuban suggested that the Sonics' relocation will be approved by the owners later this month when he said, "Like everything else in the NBA, it'll be 29-1.

"Usually if (the relocation committee) say it is (going to pass) then it is, but they've been wrong a whole lot lately,” Cuban said.

Cuban later said his main two reasons for wanting the Sonics to remain in Seattle are that Seattle is a much larger television market than Oklahoma City and that he doesn't believe that a group of teams bunched together in the same region — San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Memphis and Oklahoma City — makes good business sense.

"I think that's bad for the league,” Cuban said. "Because there's not enough TV weight. There's not enough demand from a TV perspective from outside that little area. It's nice, but when you've got San Antonio versus Dallas, which you'd think is a great marquee matchup, no one outside our area (cares). That's bad. You don't expand the market at all.”

Cuban said his opposition to a team in Oklahoma City has nothing to do with protecting his Oklahoma fan base, and he downplayed any possible impact a franchise in Oklahoma City would have on his bottom line.

"From an NBA perspective, they're all NBA fans,” Cuban said.

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