Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn’t fit the mold as your typical professional sports owner. Since purchasing the Mavericks in 2000, Cuban has been outspoken against the NBA as he has been fined more than any other owner in league history. Under Cuban’s stewardship, the Mavericks have only missed the playoffs twice and they won their first and only NBA Championship in 2011. The Mavericks have also become one of the most popular teams in the NBA.
Cuban is rarely seen wearing a business suit, unless it is during the taping of ABC’s “Shark Tank”. Cuban treats his players as men and thus you rarely hear any player in Dallas complaining about the front office there. As soon as Cuban took over the Mavericks, he changed the culture there. The Mavericks have called the American Airlines Arena in Dallas home since 2001 and it has been maintained as one of the most state-of-the-art facilities in the NBA. One of Cuban’s initial quirks for the Mavs was to put a PlayStation 2 into each player’s locker in order to keep their mind relaxed. But Cuban isn’t all fun and games.
Cuban expects his Mavericks to contend for the NBA Championship every season and if Dallas isn’t going in a direction that he desires, the outspoken owner has now problem getting rid of players and coaches. In 2006, head coach Avery Johnson led the Mavs to their second 60-win regular season in franchise history and their first Western Conference Championship. The Mavs would go on to lose in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat that year. But the following season, Dallas would go 67-15 in the regular season as they were anticipating another trip to the NBA Finals. However the Mavericks were unable to keep up with the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs as they were upset in six games. Johnson would only last one more season in Dallas before Cuban fired him and he replaced him with Rick Carlisle who was able to lead the Mavericks to the NBA Title in 2011.
Cuban has a net worth of $3 billion as his fortune was built during the dot.com boom of the 1990’s. Like most billionaires, Cuban is self-made and he is accustomed to getting his way. And with that Cuban’s style tends to rub some people the wrong way while making believers out of others.
From day one with the Mavericks, Cuban was quick to question the authority of the NBA and former NBA commissioner David Stern which has gotten him into some hot water. Cuban always sits close to his team on the court and in the past he has even run onto the court during altercations which has left his wallet a little lighter. And when the NBA implemented a mandatory dress code for its players in 2005, Cuban was one of the few people that was against it due to the fact that he felt that the issue should be left to each individual team to decide. When Cuban took over the Mavs, he offered free Taco Bell Chalupas when his team scored more than 100 points at home games in order to get more fans to attend games. Aside from the NBA, Cuban is an entrepreneur and he can be seen periodically working at franchise chains such as Dairy Queen.
Cuban’s style has forever changed professional basketball in North Texas. The Mavericks were born into the NBA in 1980 and for their first two decades in the league, they were a joke as they did nothing but become a graveyard for basketball careers. But now through Cuban’s vision, the sports scene is Dallas no longer simply belongs to the Cowboys of the National Football League.
Cuban’s business savvy and outspoken style have made him a cultural icon and he has attempted to purchase other professional sports franchises. Cuban has attempted to purchase both the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers. Cuban even offered more many than the investment groups that purchased each team. But it was clear that former Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig didn’t want Cuban’s outspoken style in his league as he was never a fan of people that challenged his authority. Cuban has also spoken out against the NFL against how they do business. And in spite of the fact that there are mainly self-made billionaire like Cuban operating NFL franchises, they tend to all be on the same page when it comes to their thought process and with that, Cuban would stick out there like a sore thumb. Cuban has also spoken out against the NCAA and their lack of effort to compensate “student-athletes” for their work as he has always believed that happy employees equal motivated employees because they are compensated properly.
But the best way to describe Cuban is that he is a man of action and his actions speak louder than words. It is proven that teams don’t win championships as it is more the organizations. And the reason why Cuban has continued to be successful is that his style and personality are infectious. Even though Cuban’s Mavericks aren’t participating in the 2015 NBA Finals, he is still one of the most talked about figures in basketball. Generally in this world you have to be different to get ahead. And Cuban has been a trailblazer and an icon which has made him one of the greatest sports figures going.