- Created on Sunday, 05 February 2012 17:31
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
Ask your parents who E.F. Hutton is and they will likely chuckle and one of them will say the line ‘when E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.’ The same can and should be said about entrepreneur and professional basketball team owner Mark Cuban.
Since becoming the owner of the Dallas Mavericks on January 4, 2000, Cuban has made a habit of speaking his mind to anyone and everyone that will listen. He often says the things that most people think, but due to his status as an NBA team owner people often listen to what he says. True in the process he has earned over $1 million in fines from the league.
The fines can be a bit distracting to the team, and many of the players were glad that their owner was able to restrain himself during their postseason run last year. It was almost surprising that a player’s owner like Cuban did not get fined for talking to his players during the lockout, especially since they had a championship bauble/ring to design.
Officially, Cuban behaved himself during the lockout, but he hit his breaking point and had to let loose on the referees after his Mavericks dropped their third in a row, an 88-9 loss to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers.
"Look, I haven't said a whole lot about the officiating in a long, long time, but I haven't seen it this bad in a long, long time," Cuban told ESPNDallas.com after the loss. "Guys miss calls… But these were officials that have been part of the league for years, and it was just off-the-charts bad. And if no one ever says anything, nothing ever happens."
Perhaps what sets Cuban a part from other outspoken owners/players is that he doesn’t talk for the sake of hearing his own voice. He generally has a point to make related to the quality of the game. While it may seem like it is just in cases where his team is hurt the most, in the end he just wants to have a better product on the court.
Such is the case when he has spoken out in the past about the inclusion of NBA players in the Olympics. The Games were once an avenue for amateur athletes to be showcased, but that has not been the case since professionals began playing in the Olympics.
"…All things being equal, it's fun to watch us play Argentina and Spain, but it would be just as fun if they were 21 and under."
“Why are we giving our most valuable manpower to a huge business, the Olympics, so they can try to take revenue away from the NBA and our partners?"
What possibly endears Cuban to many people is that he not only pays the fine that the NBA levies against him, but also matches the fine with a donation to a charity. After getting hit with a $75,000 fine for his comments Saturday night he made a matching donation to 1Million 4 Anna, a foundation dedicated to the fight against Ewing’s Sarcoma.
Regardless of the good that he does, the general perception about Cuban is that people either love him or hate him. Either way, Cuban has leveraged that familiarity into helping his fortune grow even more. During the Super Bowl he will be part of the new Sketchers commercial, and is in the midst of his first full season of the reality show Shark Tank.
If you ever needed any proof of the value that his name brings to a deal, look no further than one of the deals he recently made on the show. Cuban bought 33 percent of an entrepreneur’s cat drawing business—a very simple cat drawing business. Within 30 seconds of the deal being made the site (iwanttodrawacatforyou.com) crashed due to all the hits going from 10-40 orders a week to over a thousand in just a few days.
From television networks to basketball teams to cat drawings; if Mark Cuban is involved, success is almost assured to come.
Forget E.F. Hutton. If Mark Cuban talks, I’m listening.