Mark Cuban is the self-made billionaire owner of the NBA World Champ Dallas Mavericks. He’s emotional, brash, loud, arrogant and incurs league fines the way the King James incurs criticism. Cuban purchased the Mavs franchise in 2000 and the team has flourished since. Why? What has Cuban done for the Mavericks that H. Ross Perot, Jr. couldn’t do? What dynamic did he bring that increased the Mavericks winning percentage by 29% over the course of 10 years. It’s a simple formula that more owners should understand.
Quite simply, Mark Cuban is a FAN and he isn’t that different from his players. What other owner in any sport do you see siting next to the players, high fiving the fans, yelling at the refs while swagged out in a t-shirt and some kicks? Cuban truly loves the game, his team and all that comes with it.
When Cuban purchased the Dallas Mavericks one of his first orders of business was to upgrade the locker rooms to include creature comforts such as TVs and PlayStations in each locker, plush robes for every player, food after practice, massages in nice surroundings post practice. Anybody mind staying around for an extra hour of practice? Hell, I’m rolling through for a shoot around if it gives me a chance to kick it in the locker room. Umm, that was a blatant ploy for an invite, by the way. *waving to Mark Cuban*
Sounds like minor changes when you have a billionaire at the helm. Honestly, they are minor changes but that doesn’t seem to be enough to get other owners to understand who and what they are dealing with. Professional athletes are high profile men, typically from low profile roots that enjoy the finer things now because they didn’t have it before. Kinda sounds like Mark Cuban, doesn’t it? And there we have the differentiators. Cuban is more like his players and doesn’t pretend to be anything other than that. And his players love him for it.
So how does Cuban help Major League Baseball? MLB ratings continue to dive year after year. Let’s face it…watching baseball on television doesn’t exactly get me all aflutter and I’m not alone. Interest is waning and the MLB could be on a serious road to insignificance. Baseball is no longer America’s pastime. It’s time to inject a little excitement into the sport. Let Cuban run out to home plate and wild out on the ump after a bad call. Let Mark have a verbal tirade about Selig during the Late Show with David Letterman. THAT I’d watch. And I’d also enjoy it. Then I’d tune in to the games. Baseball, it’s time to make a change. Get a clue….better yet, get a Cuban.