As I mentioned two weeks ago, Mark Cuban was a major reason why I didn’t have a problem with the Mavericks winning the NBA championship this year.
He is the kind of owner I would love all of my favorite teams to have. He is a real fan and isn’t afraid to act like it. In an era when we have gotten used to rich men owning sports teams just because they can and not because they’re passionate about the game Mark Cuban presents a refreshing change of pace. He’s not like other owners sitting upstairs in some luxury box (when they actually show up to the games) he is sitting in the stands and actively involved in the game the way any fan would be. His habit of being outspoken has gotten him in a lot of trouble with the league over the years but that hasn’t made him back down one bit.
I really wanted the visual of David Stern handing him the NBA trophy but Cuban had something else in mind. He honored the former owner of the Mavericks Don Carter and let him accept the trophy on behalf of the team. Cuban wasn’t done making news though as he announced that Mavericks would not be getting championship rings but he wouldn’t reveal what else he had in mind. Is there any doubt that it will be something big?
His announcement today regarding the parade is what led me to write this right now. Mark Cuban announced that he will pay for the championship parade instead of the city of Dallas which like most of the country is facing a budget crunch. Again, what a refreshing change of pace. We’ve gotten used to billionaires hosting cities and states hostage so they will help them build stadiums and arenas off of which the owners will get richer. Has there been another sports owner who has done something similar? I honestly can’t think of one.