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.
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 -Â offered toÂ 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?
After Game 1 of the NBA Finals, I told anyone who would listen that the Dallas Mavericks would get swept. The Miami Heat looked real good that first game, and I wrongly assumed that they just didn’t have the stars to match up with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
After watching the Mavericks win it all last night, I realized how wrong that rationale was.
Yeah, Dallas doesn’t have the “star” power beyond Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki. But after seeing the six games of the series, it’s obviousÂ that while the Mavs’ three best players might not stack up with Miami’s “Big 3,” Dallas’ roster was simply too deep for Miami’s.
You don’t need to look any further than Sunday’s game to see that. Nowitzki was great down the stretch. Jason Kidd was that veteran point guard presence , as reliable as he’s ever been. Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler have had big moments during the series. J.J. Barea was good Sunday. DeShawn Stevenson hit three big 3-pointers. Ian Mahinmi got an offensive rebound and eventual buzzer beater to end the third quarter. Even Brian Cardinal – when looking at ESPN’s plus-minus – was a plus-18 when he was on the court. That was tied for the best on Sunday.
Meanwhile, on the Miami side, the contributions outside of the “Big 3″ were minimal. I thought Mario Chalmers had his moments for sure. And Udonis Haslem was OK. There just wasn’t much coming off the bench.
I still think the “Big 3″ of Miami will have their year, and it probably will be soon. Clearly, the Heat need more time to shape their roster, and to figure out James’ role in the offense because he’s not meshing well right now.
But this year belongs to the Mavericks.
Not that it will ever come to pass, but Mark Cuban is reportedly trying to buy the Texas Rangers.
The Dallas Mavericks owner is a "serious bidder" for the bankrupt major league team.
I would love to see Cuban get a team like the Rangers. It would be fun to see what he could do with them. Like him or hate him, he made the Mavericks relevant.
But it’ll never happen. Cuban is simply too polarizing of a figure for the "boys club" of big league baseball owners to let into their little group. God forbid anyone outspend the New York Yankees.