Everyone knows that the Dallas Mavericks are owned by billionaire Mark Cuban. In a league where most people could not name more than 5 NBA owners (go ahead and try, without looking), Cuban is known by all. He is perhaps the most visible owner in the entire league. He is omnipresent when his Mavericks are on the court, taking his seat behind the team’s bench. Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him.
He is guaranteed to be on television every time that there is a questionable call against Dallas. As you probably know, Mark Cuban has never been averse to sharing his opinion. He wears his emotions on his sleeve for all to see. When calls don’t go his way, he is up screaming at the referees. He has been fined by the league for his public remarks about the officiating countless times. Some have speculated, Phil Jackson’s name comes to mind, that the Mavericks have paid for Cuban’s harsh treatment of the officials.
But this post-season has been different. Not only have the Mavericks demonstrated persistence and mental toughness, but Cuban has been curiously quiet. Yes you can still see his reactions on his face as he responds to the play of his team, but no tirades, no rants, not a peep. So as I was on ESPN.com earlier today, they had a poll. Which Mark Cuban do you prefer, the loud Mark Cuban or the quiet one?
Interesting question. I have had more than one person tell me that while they have no strong feelings one way or another in regard to the Mavericks, they cannot stand Mark Cuban. They see him as arrogant, loud, controlling. Yet the results of the poll said that the majority of the people prefer the loud Mark Cuban.
I personally like Mark Cuban. Yes, at times he can be a tad over-the-top in his analysis. His histironics are not my style. He can be reactionary as well. But you have to love his passion. This guy wants to win. Bad. And he doesn’t hide it. He took over a franchise that was a laughingstock for most of it’s history. He has single-handedly transformed this team into a consistent championship contender. His players love him. He runs the Mavericks in a first-class fashion.
He is always looking to enhance the game experience for the fans. He signs autographs and talks to the crowd. Cuban is not afraid to mingle with the fans. He is not sitting up in some suite, isolating himself from the paying customer. He is down where the action is, just like you and I would be if we owned the team.
Mark Cuban is as authentic as he is passionate. This guy is calls it like he sees it. Agree or disagree, you have to respect the fact that he is not afraid to speak his mind. How can you not like him? While I don’t like always agree with what he thinks, at least we know what he thinks. Most owners say nothing or some finely crafted politically correct sound bite that tells us nothing. Sports are a business, but they are also in the entertainment business. Cuban gets that. And he is always entertaining.
Whether he is sitting quietly watching the Mavericks beating up another opponent or screaming at the officials, I like Mark Cuban. There is no one I would rather see running this team. Here is hoping that Cuban, and the rest of the franchise, finally get what they have been working so hard to get: the first of many championships. What do you think? Do you prefer the loud Mark Cuban or the quiet Cuban?