American Icons: Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban undoubtedly is the greatest owner of a professional sports franchise, but most people know him as something different: a cocky, temperous, loud-mouthed, whining fanatic. One should look past this, embrace the passion he holds for his team, and admire/learn from his path to success.
The Cubes was destined for greatness from an early age. In order to buy a pair of expensive shoes, he sold trash bags door-to-door. In college, he held jobs including bartender, disco-dancing instructor (mostly at sororities), and party promoter. After saving his money, he went on to purchase a local bar that became one of Indiana University’s most popular hangout spots.
It wasn’t until Cuban moved to Dallas that he made his billions. Cuban was initially fired from several jobs before starting his own company, MicroSolutions, which he eventually sold for 6 million dollars. Cuban then went on to form Broadcast.com, an online sports streaming website that he sold to Yahoo! for $5.9 Billion in Yahoo! stock. In a smart move, Cuban diversified his wealth into movie production, television, and the NBA, where he is still owner of the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. Over time, Cuban has founded and invested in many wildly successful companies. He combines a blue collar work ethic with a white collar business sense.
“It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because… All that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”
– Mark Cuban
Hell yes, Cubes.
Cuban changed the culture of the Dallas Mavericks the second he took over. The team drafted Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, taking a huge gamble on two unknown white kids to lead their team for the future. Nash, now a two-time MVP, and Nowitzki, Finals Champion and MVP, proved to be great moves. The logo was changed and a new arena was built, igniting a new sense of pride for the Mavericks.
Even with these great, positive changes, Cuban was in the spotlight for other reasons. Cuban was instantly known as temperamental, as he would be seen complaining over questionable calls and genrally just harassing NBA officials. These antics have calmed down in recent times, but they existed strongly for years. For example, after suggesting the NBA is rigged (which it absolutely, 100% is), Cuban was slapped down with a $250,000 fine from the great satan David Stern. To this day, Mark Cuban has been fined a total of $1,790,000 and suspended for three games. This is a massive number, but he has matched every penny of his fines with charitable donations.
Mark Cuban, despite his humorous temper, has always been outrageously popular. Cuban does local radio and TV appearances, and even worked a day at Dairy Queen after comments that the league’s manager of officials couldn’t manage a DQ. Cuban always looks out for the fans and takes time to talk to anyone that comes up to say hello. Cuban even sits in the nosebleeds occasionally to hang out with fans.
The Cubes is the embodiment of the American dream. Since he was a young boy, he loved basketball and knew one day he would own a team. Cuban is a brilliant businessman, never dodges taxes or fines, and stands proudly. Mark Cuban is an icon, and a role model for any young businessman, entrepreneur, or American citizen.