The Washington Wizards look to snap their 23-game road losing streak to start the 2010/11 season when they take on the Dallas Mavericks tonight. That's a tough game under any circumstances, since Dallas is one of the best teams in the Western Conference. But if Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is to be believed, every single road game the Wizards will play the rest of the season will be a taller order than they think.
Why? Cuban said nobody wants to be the team to give the Wizards their first road win.
"No one wants to be the first, so I think they're going to take a playoff approach," Cuban said on the Mike Wise Show on 106.7 The Fan earlier today. "No one wants to be that first team to lose to them."
That sentiment was one DeShawn Stevenson expressed as well, so you can bet the Wizards will be getting Dallas' best shot tonight. Cuban elaborated on that later in the program.
"If it's a five, six, seven-game road losing streak, no big deal, but when you get into record territory, guys know that if you're the team, all your media is going to ask you about that continuously, and no one wants to deal with that."
Cuban was also asked about Ted Leonsis and whether Leonsis' presence next to the Wizards' bench can put pressure on coach Flip Saunders. Of course, Leonsis has recently come out in defense of Saunders on his blog, but seeing as Cuban sits next to his bench in Dallas, it was an appropriate question. Cuban said it actually helps Leonsis make informed decisions.
"Being there actually creates a line of communication and it gives the owner the chance to understand all the dynamics. Whereas, if you're removed, and you're not close to it, you get all the information secondhand. ... Unless you're witnessing it in the heat of the battle, it's much more difficult to understand and use that information once, twice, three-times over than if you're seeing it yourself."
"Ted is such a good communicator, and he's a lot quieter than I am, a lot more reserved than I am. I'm sure he's sitting down with Flip and saying, 'Look, Flip, you know basketball a lot more than I do, but in my business world experience where I've seen individuals do 'A,' 'B,' and 'C,' here's the way I understand it and here's the way I think you should think about doing. I'm sure Flip will take it as valuable information, so I think it's a huge positive, not a negative at all."
Hear the full interview here.