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Posted at 9:48 AM ET, 02/28/2011

Cuban vs. Bissinger: NBA owner and journalist have Twitter smackdown

By Cindy Boren

UPDATE: 3/1/11 at 11:45 p.m.

Buzz Bissinger and Mark Cuban did indeed have their courtside chat Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center, where Cuban's Mavericks beat the 76ers. According to Bissinger's tweets, it was a civil 15-minute discussion about NBA attendance numbers.

Mark Cuban and I met.. His objection to column was in questioning the success of the NBA. Cordial, friendly. No fireworks. About 15 minutes.less than a minute ago via web

Said to Cuban I was not a coward as he called me. He said he called me coward bec. it would set me off. We must have met in another life.less than a minute ago via web

ORIGINAL POST: 2/28/11 at 9:48 a.m.

There was quite the little Twitter dustup between Mark Cuban and Buzz Bissinger over the weekend. In the pool, I had Bissinger with a TKO (Twitter knockout) midway through the fourth tweet, but it seems to have more of a life than that. The Post's Eric Athas had a front-row seat (the full rant, which is not suitable for children, work or lovers of polite discourse, is here.) Eric writes:

What happens when a billionaire entrepreneur and NBA team owner uses Twitter to criticize an outspoken Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist?

Followers of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and author and Daily Beast columnist Buzz Bissinger found out Sunday. The result: A profanity-laced, 86-tweet rant by Bissinger that took place over a span of four hours. The two then set up -- using Twitter, of course -- a face-to-face meeting for Tuesday.

It started Sunday when Cuban tweeted that Bissinger was "a coward." The tweet was sent in response to Bissinger's Feb. 17 column titled "NBA All-Star Game: White Men Can't Root." The piece doesn't mention Cuban, but argues that there's a race problem between the NBA and its white fans.

"Are whites losing interest in a game in which the number of white American players not only continues to dwindle, but no longer features a superstar?" Bissinger wrote. "Yes."

After Cuban's "coward" comment, Bissinger rattled off a couple dozen tweets and responded to users in true Bissinger form (plenty of cursing).

Cuban eventually returned to Twitter with a comment directed at Bissinger's column: "Yr editor asked you to write about a topic you dont know & had no interest in researching..."

At this point Daily Beast editor, and former Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz chimed in: "Hey, @mcuban, I asked @buzzbissinger to write *something* about basketball, but he chose the racial topic, knowing it'd be controversial."

After a couple of back-and-forth tweets, the two agreed to a face-to-face meeting during the Maverick's Tuesday night game against the 76ers in Philadelphia. But although they plan on having a civil courtside discussion, the tweet fight ended with yet another disagreement.

@buzzbissinger just get a media pass from the sixers. You are a blogger who blogs about the nba. I'm easy to find.less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android

@mcuban I write a sports column for Daily Beast. I don't blog NBA. Will try with Sixers. Why doesn't your PR guy get me pass? You own team.less than a minute ago via web

Will they actually find each other? Will both of them make it out of the Wells Fargo Center unscathed?

By Cindy Boren  | February 28, 2011; 9:48 AM ET
Categories:  NBA  
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What an incredible waste of 4 hours. I actually found myself on Cuban's side in this exchange. Bissinger comes off as a total whack job. Who would seriously sit there and fire back dozens and dozens of replies and continually call Cuban out? Buzz is off his rocker. I'm scared, he might reply to his post and yell at me.

Posted by: ECUPirate68 | February 28, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

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