SBD/June 14, 2011/Franchises

On The Mark: Mavericks' Title Caps Extended Period Of Success Under Cuban's Ownership

Mavericks have never missed the playoffs in 11 full seasons under Cuban
Mark Cuban “made the Mavericks relevant again with his big bankroll and even bigger zest for winning after purchasing the team” from Ross Perot Jr. in ’00, according to Brandon George of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The Mavericks have “won at least 50 games in the regular season and reached the playoffs all 11 seasons of Cuban’s tenure,” and that “success energized the fan base.” The team has “sold out 399 consecutive regular-season home games, the longest streak in the NBA, and 58 straight playoff games.” After Sunday night’s title-clinching win over the Heat, Cuban “didn’t forget about what the lifelong Mavericks fans have been through, paying respects to original Mavericks owner Donald Carter by having him accept the championship trophy” from NBA Commissioner David Stern. George notes unlike “some of Cuban’s deals, his vested interest in the Mavericks has never been about making money.” He reportedly is “at least $150 million in the hole since purchasing the team.” But George adds, “That’s just fine with Cuban now that the Mavericks have cashed in with their first NBA championship. … Love him or hate him, Cuban did it his way” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/14). In San Antonio, Buck Harvey writes Cuban "changed the Mavericks nearly from the day he bought them." His enthusiasm "was real, and it often ended when it came to making basketball decisions for the franchise" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 6/14). 

A NEW MARK: In N.Y., Karen Crouse writes Cuban “used this postseason to shine and buff his reputation and legacy.” Crouse: “Gone were the petulant outbursts. … Cuban remained in the background this time, content to let the spotlight stay on his players.” Allowing Carter to be presented with the trophy “represented one giant leap forward for his public image” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/14). In Ft. Worth, Clarence Hill Jr. writes Cuban “entered the 2011 playoffs as a wild card, even possibly a villain,” but that was “before he took himself out of the headlines.” And then when you "thought a giddy and rebellious Cuban might let loose after the Mavericks finally won it all -- especially with nemesis NBA commissioner David Stern handing him the Larry O’Brien Trophy -- he turned classy" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 6/14). In Pittsburgh, Rob Rossi writes Cuban’s “public image during this postseason changed dramatically” (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 6/14). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said of allowing original Mavs Owner Donald Carter to accept the trophy from Stern, "Cuban did a very magnanimous thing" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/13). In Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw writes, “Mostly, he acted with class." His "persistence paid off" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/14).

A DESERVED TRIUMPH
: In Boston, Bob Ryan wrote no NBA owner “deserves a championship more than” Cuban. Ryan: “Not since the days of the owner-coaches … has the NBA had an owner who has worn his heart on his sleeve to the extent Mark Cuban has since purchasing the Dallas Mavericks in January of 2000. Love him or hate him, you cannot say he doesn’t care, nor can you say he hasn’t done everything humanly possible to bring a title to Dallas. As an owner, he is every fan’s dream.” However, Ryan wrote Cuban “should have accepted that trophy” from Stern. Ryan: “I know people will think he was being noble and gracious by allowing Mavericks founder Donald Carter to receive it from his long-time enemy David Stern, but I interpret the move as being petulant” (BOSTON.com, 6/13). SPORTING NEWS' Sean Deveney writes there is "probably no NBA owner more deserving of a championship than Cuban." He has "changed the way the NBA does business" (SPORTING NEWS TODAY, 6/14).

TIME TO PARTY: The N.Y. POST's Page Six reports Cuban spent $110,000 "in four hours celebrating at Club Liv at Miami's Fountainebleau" after Game Six. He spent "most of it on a $90,000 bottle of Ace of Spades Champagne" for several players, including F Dirk Nowitzki. Cuban left a $20,000 tip "for the wait staff" (N.Y. POST, 6/14).
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