I’ve always “liked Mark Cuban” in a similar but different way that I “like” a Donald Trump. (No, Kennel, I’m not voting for him. Sorry to spoil your stereotype).
I “like” people who have “hutzpah”, create their own eccentric style and aren’t slaves to media weasels. Having A LOTTA $$$$ gives one more freedom to be eccentric…. or having NO $$$ at all gives one a certain freedom of eccentricity too. I would opt for the former condition.
Here’s one writer thoughts about Mark Cuban….
Mark Cuban Semi-Charmed Life
Two very important developments in sports occurred during the first week of January 2000, just after we all got over the fact that Y2K wasn’t going to inexplicably empty all our checking accounts. The first was that the New York Mets released Bobby Bonilla from a contract with so much deferred money on the backend that he’s still receiving annual million-dollar checks to this day, a seemingly endless source of amusement for #LOLMets aficionados.
The very next day, on Jan. 4, a still relatively unknown dot-com billionaire named Mark Cuban, who sold an Internet radio company to Yahoo! for billions, purchased the majority share of the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million from Ross Perot Jr. Eleven years later, the Mavs won their first title.
Along the way, Cuban became a familiar sight on SportsCenter, usually for getting fined by the league for his outspokenness. Since then, he’s become a TV star for his gig on “Shark Tank.” He’s played himself on “Entourage.” He was mercilessly parodied (though never explicitly) on this past season of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” by way of an obnoxious Internet entrepreneur who brags incessantly about getting into the Three Comma Club for putting “the radio” on “the Internet.” (One friend of Cuban’s remembers how he would cite the BBC, aka the Billionaire Boys Club, as his ultimate goal. Whether he produced his own tequila, though, is an open question.) He was even on “Arli$$” and “Walker, Texas Ranger” for crying out loud, and who else could say that? And don’t forget “The Mark Cuban Show.”
Now, Cuban played the president of the United States in the Syfy production of “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” — just as we all predicted 15 short years ago — which aired Wednesday night. Cuban is worth, according to Forbes, some $3 billion. He’s got an app that he says could save Twitter (as if Twitter was worth saving). He has eff-you money until the day he dies and he says whatever is on his mind, preferring to communicate via the mobile messaging app he helped fund rather than by Twitter missive or Facebook update. He showed up on his first day as Mavericks owner in jeans and sneakers. We constantly mock Cuban for what he says and what he does and what he strives to be, but would anyone else act any differently under the circumstances?
Sports has a history of owners who have had larger-than-life personalities, but they so often cross the line into self-destruction. George Steinbrenner paid shady informants to spy on his players. Marge Schott was an unrepentant racist. Same with Donald Sterling. Dan Snyder is generally horrible. The list goes on. All Cuban seems guilty of lately is tweeting too much about Cyber Dust.
For years, Cuban has cultivated this goof-bro persona that insulates him from a lot of criticism, but he’s never truly crossed the Line You Don’t Cross, so he remains this enduring example of what happens when you work hard into earning some money, luck harder into earning a lot more money and then do whatever the hell you want next. A lot of us would buy a basketball team. A lot of us would open our mouths and criticize the refs if we felt wronged and then just eat the fineswe’d have to pay the league. It’s like “Brewster’s Millions” come to life, just spending as we please, living for today and thinking about the next day only when we must.
Nothing Cuban does is typical or expected. The man seemingly subsists on defying other people’s expectations. Twitter cheered him when he fought back against ESPN’s Chris Broussard reporting his whereabouts as DeAndre Jordan changed his mind about joining the Mavs. Cuban blasted Broussard’s contention that he was frantically driving about Houston (where Jordan lives) trying to get a home address for the free-agent center. At the same time, there was something very genuine in that imagery. Some billionaire owners wouldn’t fret a bit in losing a stud free agent, but here was Cuban supposedly driving like a nut, losing his mind and trying to salvage a big deal for his club. There’s passion in that, and there’s a relatable human emotion. I would do that, too! Who among us wouldn’t? Most sports owners are thought of as the disconnected mogul living up high in Xanadu, and Cuban has always remained down at ground level with the hoi polloi, even with $3 billion to burn.
And then how does he rationalize the whole Jordan debacle? He compares it to make-up sex. I mean, sure, that’s not exactly the first comp that all of us would arrive at, but you almost can’t help but cheer for someone who so clearly has little internal filter and doesn’t much flinch at the lack thereof.
Cuban has been ripe for parody since he first arrived in our national conscious some 15 years ago, and there will be untold “Sharknado” GIFs hitting the ‘net as a result of his star turn. If his character survives, maybe we’ll see him in “Sharknado 4: We’ve All Clearly Gone Insane.” Maybe he’ll just hunker down and do more “Shark Tank.” Maybe he’ll just concentrate on doing everything in his power to give Dirk Nowitzki one last best chance at a title.
Or maybe all that and more. Whatever Cuban decides, it’ll be something we’re all talking about.