Mark Cuban is a pretty polarizing figure in sports. His lavish, partying lifestyle is unlike any other owner in the NBA, and throughout his run as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Cuban has undergone a lot of scrutiny from fans, journalists, and even former NBA commissioner David Stern, who fined Cuban in the past for some of his behavior. However, after the horrendously racist comments made weeks ago by Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, Cuban now finds himself on the opposite side of controversy – he’s commenting on it instead of being involved in it.
While giving a speech at the annual GrowCo, hosted by Inc. magazine, in Nashville yesterday, Cuban discussed many different topics. When asked about selling his tech company MicroSolutions and the success and money it brought him, he reaffirmed his party-loving life style, saying, “I literally retired at 29 with a lifetime pass on American Airlines, and my goal was to party with as many people as possible.” He also stated that as owner of the Mavericks, he isn’t in the “basketball business” but instead “the business of creating unique experiences.”
Cuban’s most interesting comments, however, came when he talked to the crowd about bigotry and the issue of racism in the NBA. “I know I’m prejudiced and I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways,” Cuban said. “If I see a black kid in a hoodie on my side of the street, I’ll move to the other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos, I’ll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts; we all live in glass houses.”
Furthermore, Cuban said that there is no easy way to keep bigotry out of the NBA, stating that “There’s no law against stupid.” He also knows whether or not he will vote to oust Donald Sterling, but that he’s “not ready to comment on it” just yet.
Even though I’m not a huge Mark Cuban fan (I like owners that let their players and their records do the talking rather than trying to make themselves the face of the franchise), I do appreciate the honesty of his comments. Sure, he’s a little blunt, but in a world where so many people are afraid to say how they truly feel or acknowledge an issue until it becomes a very publicized problem, Cuban’s genuine words are impressive and one of the few things that I actually find admirable about him.
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