What’s wrong with Mark Cuban?

One of my friends wrote something on a social networking site that kind of surprised me after the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

“I know nearly everyone (including me) wanted LeBron to lose, but isn’t it just as bad that Mark Cuban won?”

Some people agreed. Some people didn’t.

Mark Cuban

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has his share of detractors. Associated Press photo

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. People love Cuban – the often outspoken owner of the Mavericks – and people hate him. Because he has a tendency to make himself the center of attention, many fans are soured by him.

But if I’m a fan of a pro sports team, why wouldn’t you want Cuban to be that owner? I talked to a Chicago Cubs fan a few years ago when Cuban was reportedly interested in buying the team, and that fan wanted nothing to do with him.

Cuban may do some things that rub people the wrong way. But he does one thing fans should appreciate: He spends money. Big bucks, as a matter of fact. Not just on players, but on facilities and what-not too. Where were the Mavs before Cuban got there? You probably don’t know, and I don’t blame you.

And that’s not to mention this ESPN story that points out Cuban – and not the city of Dallas - offered to pay for the team’s championship parade. My guess is there aren’t too many tight-fisted owners who would step up to the plate and do that. If there are, I hope they prove me wrong.

His antics can be tiresome, but Cuban helped turn around one of the league’s forgotten franchises and make it into a perennial winner. How is that not good for the NBA?