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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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They’re sorry, so sorry …

Mike Lopresti Gannett

Who’s sorry now?

As the NBA playoffs come to a boil, there have been more regrets than a confessional booth. It is getting hard to keep all the apologies straight, and they’re still only in the second round.

Mark Cuban is sorry he called Lydia Moore’s son a thug. Or a punk. Or whatever he said to Kenyon Martin’s mother after the Denver Nuggets beat Dallas in Game 3 of their series.

Boston’s Glen Davis is sorry he ran into a kid in Orlando the other night while happily carrying on about his shot that beat the Magic.

The NBA is sorry one of its officiating crews blew the last seconds of a Nuggets-Mavericks game, when there was a foul so plain, the guy in row DDD of the upper deck could have spotted it. But whistles were swallowed as if they were Oreos, leaving Denver’s Carmelo Anthony free to hit the game-winner.

The mea culpa from the league offices arrived before the custodians had the popcorn swept away. But the Mavericks still lost.

The Lakers regretted their sorry performance in Game 4 against Yao-less Houston, which had Phil Jackson uttering not very Zen-like language afterward. So they won the next game by 40. The Rockets, meanwhile, are plenty sorry Yao Ming is in street clothes.

Orlando’s Dwight Howard might be sorry he publicly dumped on his coach after the Magic blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter to Boston Tuesday night. Or at least he should be sorry. Whatever his view of Stan Van Gundy, the middle of a series is no time to blowtorch your own coach in the media.

Ron Artest regrets being tossed from two Houston playoff games. Not that he thinks he’s guilty, especially after experiencing the pleasures of a Kobe Bryant elbow. Artest described one ejection with a sparkling new addition to NBA playoff lexicon: “Past history profiling.”

The NBA playoffs have a knack for emotional spikes. Sometimes that gives us – as the television promos promise – amazing. Sometimes, it gives us silliness, speaking of Cuban.

Call me picky, but an owner getting into it with the mother of a player on the other team comes across as rather unseemly. Especially the night before Mother’s Day.

Cuban’s apology – which included inviting nearly anyone who ever met Kenyon Martin to sit in his private suite for Game 6 – came via his blog, which through the years has seen more damage control than the White House press room.

Somehow lost in this sideshow is the impressive emergence of Denver. When’s the last time the Nuggets made headlines, let alone their mothers?

Meanwhile, here’s a general guideline for Glen Davis: With a nickname like “Big Baby,” if you’re going to bump into somebody on the sideline, next time make it a full-grown bar bouncer, not a 12-year-old student.

It is taking some time, through the tumult and apologies, to sort out the survivors, which is the way it is supposed to be in the playoffs.

Except for Cleveland. The Cavaliers have swept two care-free series, their closest win by 10 points. They must be sorry about something, but it is hard to guess what.

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