Mark Cuban’s 9 Most Controversial Statements
Mark Cuban is (surprise!) back in the news after just indicting the NFL for its business practices and predicting it will be a victim of its own success. This isn’t the first time he’s gone off the reservation and spoken up with on controversial topics with controversial opinions.
Starting with his NFL comments, let’s take a look at the loose-cannon owner that is Mark Cuban.
Just yesterday, Mark Cuban let his thoughts be known regarding the imminent implosion of the NFL due greed. More to the point, Mark said, "I'm just telling you, when you've got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That's rule number one of business." Whether he was referring to the development of their own channel, the billion-dollar stadiums, the absurd per-game broadcast rights of MNF, or Jerry Jones’ general existence is anyone’s guess.
9. “Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered”
Before the NFL comments, it had been only a couple weeks since Cuban last spoke about a touchy subject. Namely, the worthlessness of the “one-and-done” provision that forces NBA prospects to dick around for a year in the NCAA before declaring for the draft. He said on the record, “We don’t have to pretend. A major college has to pretend that they’re treating them like a student-athlete, and it’s a big lie and we know it’s a big lie. At least at most schools, not all.” The only group this might be controversial for is the NCAA, who was a little miffed by the comment. Though it’s hard to argue with the logic that if they’re preparing for a career in basketball then let them prepare in the D-League rather than pay lip service to a college requirement.
8. His Suggestion That The D-League Take The Place of One Year Of College Ball
This isn’t terribly sports-oriented, but it warrants inclusion on this list. In a blog post, he said that while passions are important as a personal characteristic, they’re not worth so much as a criteria for job selection. “There are always going to be things we love to do. That we dream about doing. That we really, really want to do with our lives. Those passions aren't worth a nickel.” Ouch. But lest you feel he is dwelling on the negative, he offers some affirmative advice as well. “Forget about finding your passion. Instead, focus on finding big problems.”
7. Advice to Job Seekers: “Forget About Finding Your Passion”
This is one of Cuban’s more abrasive quotes, not only for the quote itself, but the fallout. Dairy Queen took offense, as they rightly should after an implication that they’re mismanaged enough to take on an NBA ref. To smooth things over, Cubes wore a Dairy Queen shirt court side the next game, and put some time in manning the soft-serve machine at an actual Dairy Queen. The NBA hit Cuban with a $500,000 fine. A Dairy Queen franchise cost about $650,000 all-in when Cuban made this statement in 2002.
6. Ed T. Rush “Wouldn’t Be Able To Manage A Dairy Queen”
On January 19th, 2014, David Stern hit Mark Cuban with a fine for the last time. $100,000 for confronting a referee on the court and “directing inappropriate language” at him. Wow. I guess I should be fined a lot for what I yell at my TV. Cuban’s Tweet after receiving the fine? “I couldnt let the commish go without a proper farewell. Its been a fun 14 years of trying to create change and donating to the donut fund !”
5. Requesting One Last Fine From Outgoing Commissioner David Stern
Cuban found it “stupid” that the US Olympic Men’s Basketball team would essentially be subsidized by the NBA and its owners so that Olympic sponsors can profit on the team’s notoriety and success. And yet again, he’s got a point. "I think it's the biggest mistake the NBA makes. If you look up stupid in the dictionary you see a picture of the USA Dream Team playing for free for corporate America so the U.S. Olympic Committee can make billions of dollars. So if you come up with something that you own that you can give to me for free so I can make billions of dollars, I want it. And it has nothing to do with patriotism and it's all about money. You don't see the Olympic Committee in Switzerland saying, 'Oh, we made so much money, let's give it to people.' How many jets do they have?" Will someone please count how many jets Switzerland has?
4. Cuban Hoped The 2012 US Basketball Team Was In Shambles
Seriously. It was 2010, LeBron was gearing up for his “decision” as a free agent, and Mark Cuban wasn’t allowed to say anything about him before the July 1st deadline. Like, ANYTHING. Here are the seemingly innocuous comments that’s cost Cubes $100k. "Come July 1st, yeah, of course, anybody would be interested in LeBron James, and if he leaves via free agency, then it's going to be tough. If he does like I'm guessing, hoping he will, which is say, 'I'm not going to leave the Cavs high and dry,' if he decides to leave -- there's still a better chance he stays -- then he'll try to force a sign-and-trade, and that gives us a chance. . . . What I do know about LeBron in the minimal time I've spent talking to him is he just wants to win. Money's not his issue. He needs to be someplace where he trusts the organization. And look, Dan Gilbert in Cleveland did everything he possibly could, that's just the way the game works. If there was a template that we all could follow, we'd all have championship rings."
3. Mark Cuban Talked About LeBron James When He Shouldn’t Have
(He didn’t like it.) “…it turned out to be the largest public humiliation in the history of sports. He humiliated the organization, he humiliated the state of Ohio, the city of Cleveland. All of a sudden he became a bad guy, he lost a billion dollars in brand equity, give or take a couple bucks here or there.” He may have been wrong about the billion dollars. Given where LeBron is right now, I think it may have only cost him a few hundred bucks.
2. Speaking Of Which, Cuban’s Thoughts on LeBron After “The Decision”
Ross Perot Jr., a minority owner and developer around the arena, filed a lawsuit against Cuban saying Cuban mismanaged the organization. This was right around the same time the Mavericks were making a playoff run that would end with the first-ever championship. Hard to argue you’re mismanaging a team when you were just ruled the best in the league. So Cuban’s response to the lawsuit was the above picture. It speaks volumes, and he won the lawsuit on all counts.