Is Mark Cuban the Worst Owner in Professional Sports?

Is Mark Cuban the worst owner in professional sports? Is he the worst owner ever? An argument can be made for both sides. Mark doesn’t exude the qualities of a billionaire or a businessman. What is it about the man that drives him to make a fool of himself? Are the Mavericks a better team under Mark Cuban’s ownership? After all, he is a proven business man.

A little background on Mark Cuban; Mark has been an entrepreneur since he was in college. Mark has a business degree from Indiana University he then went to work for a software dealer. However, he made is fortune by creating and selling companies. His first was Microsolutions; which he started and then sold for six million dollars. He then founded Audionet, which later became Broadcast.com. Mark sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for 5.7 billion dollars in stock at the height of the dot-com boom. In February of 2000, Mark bought the Dallas Mavericks for 285 million dollars; he is currently estimated to be worth 1.8 billion dollars.

If you don’t know who Mark Cuban is, you more than likely aren’t a basketball fan. He is known in the basketball world for his never-ending love for the Mavs – it’s really more of an obsession. He travels to their away games in his private jet, always wearing a team jersey. Unlike most owners who stay in the luxury box, Mark insists on being just next to the Mavericks’ bench. The referees certainly know who he is; Mark is notorious for complaining and even whining during games and after through the media and his blog.

Mark’s off-court antics (and I’m mean just off the court) are so bad that he has accumulated just over a million dollars in fines – 1,665,000 in 13 incidents to be exact. This amount is more than any other owner in any sport. He’s rich and has the money, but is it necessary? Between attacking the refs and lately even the commissioner, no one is outside the wrath of Mark Cuban. What does he expect to accomplish? After one game of the 2006 NBA Finals, he stormed the court, swore at the commissioner and claimed that the NBA is rigged. I wouldn’t say it’s rigged, but it is officiated by humans – humans that don’t like to be treated like trash. I wouldn’t be surprised if the refs go into every Mavs game with chips on their shoulders, maybe even leaning the other way. Should they be doing this? No, of course not, but one can see why they would. There isn’t any other owner in the sports that is so involved in their team that they look like a fool on national television on a consistent basis. Most of the time, he looks more like a girl who just got dumped by her high school sweetheart than a billionaire franchise owner.

Although he’s a disruption, the Mavericks have never been better off. Since being purchased by Mark, the Mavs are 340-152 – a big step considering they were 639-969 in the twenty years prior to his ownership. In addition, the Mavs have reached the playoffs in every season that Mark has owned them. Their playoff record has improved and they even reached the NBA Finals for the first time in team history. Not bad, especially since they’ve accomplished all of this in just six seasons. What’s changed since Mark has taken over? The main reason for Cuban’s success is that he spends the money to get the players. He has a N.Y. Yankee, Steinbrenner mentality: get the best players possible at any cost. The Yankees don’t win the title every year and the Mavs haven’t won it all either, though they were close until this years collapse in the NBA Finals.

With a solid team under his belt, Mark looks as if he’s on the verge of winning an NBA title. The Mavs are one of the top five teams in the league and Mark intends on keeping them there. He does, however, need to calm down just a bit, as he isn’t doing his team any justice. His attitude certainly travels to the team and fans; instead of looking at themselves, they constantly point fingers and push blame onto others. Maybe in the years to come, Mark will find something else to be fanatic about. Until then, he’ll continue to shell out millions and give us plenty of highlights.

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