Blog Entry

Winning NBA Finals validates Mavs' Cuban

Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:31 am
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:01 am

Posted by Matt Moore

MIAMI -- He's the owner you want. You may despise his attitude, his bombastic attraction to the spotlight, his incessant assaults on officials, and how he blatantly and painfully reaches out with metrics and trades and promotion in every way he can. But it will not change what you have to admit, what you had to admit before these Finals and what you cannot escape after the Dallas Mavericks secured their first NBA championship.

Mark Cuban is the owner you want.

For 11 years Mark Cuban has invested in the Mavericks. Not only money (has he ever spent money), but time, energy, brainpower, manpower and emotion. He poured his lifeblood into the Mavericks. He fought with other owners, he fought with Phil Jackson, he fought with the league over every officiating tendency. And year after year he was denied the promised land, year after year he was met with only failure. How many other owners would continue to pump that much money, that much emotion into an investment that had caused so much disappointment and grief? 

Cuban would. Cuban did. And now, he's got the ring to show for it.

As Cuban sat at the podium Sunday night, a you-know-what-eating grin on his face, he didn't offer a cocky "We knew this would happen." There weren't any pot shots at the league. There was only gratitude. Cuban, for all his faults, wanted this badly. And after finally reaching the summit, instead of gloating about how smart he is, instead he talked about what he had learned.

"I learned chemistry matters," Cuban said. "That it's a team game. That you have to have players that believe in each other and trust each other and trust your coach. And that's a process. It doesn't happen overnight."

It didn't for the Mavericks. Over the past 10 years they've seen the kind of heartbreak that can fracture franchises. The Big Brother Spurs always lording over them. When they finally pushed past, they slammed head-first into the Heat who -- in 2006 -- celebrated capturing the same trophy Cuban clutched as his own Sunday night. The next season, they lost in one of the most devastating playoff upsets in NBA history, a loss to the Warriors that destroyed the hopes of one of the truly great teams of the 2000s. They dealt with injuries, second-guessing of trades, their methods, the metrics they used. And on Sunday, all of it was wiped away in a champagne rain of celebration. Cuban was in the locker room, boisterous as ever, and oh, yeah, even gave the media what they came for, a magnificent I-don't-care-I-just-won-the-title curse on national television. 

Shawn Marion was asked in the locker room if Cuban could talk now. Marion, high on the moment, said: "Oh my God, if you think I have swag? He's got ultimate swag!"

That ultimate swag is defined by Cuban's intelligent decision-making. He runs his mouth because he backs it up with his pocket book and in his approach. Maybe more than anything, these Finals showed that it's not only about putting together a championship team, it's about a championship organization. From the head coach -- who was respected, won but ultimately was fired everywhere he went -- to the advanced metrics approach Cuban relentlessly pursued, to the massive amount of in-game entertainment Cuban puts together. The Mavericks are a class-act organization, even if Cuban doesn't always portray that. And as of this moment, it no longer matters.

They're a championship organization.

Cuban spoke effusively about Dirk Nowitzki's work ethic and about what the Big German has meant to his franchise.

"I never questioned Dirk. Never even a little bit," Cuban said. "Dirk helps set the culture of a team. And culture is critically important for a winning organziation. It's critically important for a successful team."

He credited Carlisle, and even said that metrics played a part in the decision to hire Carlisle (though his interview clearly was more important). He credited the people in his organization, from Donnie Nelson to Keith Grant and on down. Cuban didn't act like he did all the work, though to think Cuban isn't heavily involved day-to-day, that he didn't help build this team, is naive. He put in the money and time, the blood, sweat and tears.

And now he finally has his trophy to show for it.

Fans are so often stymied by ownership. They'll know their guy won't spend, or he'll spend irrationally, or he'll always overreact to situations, or that he's completely disloyal. What they want is a guy who will spend to win, who will work to improve no matter what, who will stay involved and fight for his team. They want an owner who does all the things the guy at that podium did on Sunday night, grinning to all the world and asking the press when he walked in, reeking of champagne and sweat, "Did anybody inform you guys we're the world champions?"

They want an owner like Mark Cuban.

Hail to the King, baby.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2011 9:52 pm

people are confused

I wonder if people realize this article is about the Dallas Mavericks, the owner of that team & the championship they just won...not that other guy who is now 0-2 in the NBA Finals.

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: June 13, 2011 9:08 pm

Prediction for first post-parade press conference

Jason Kidd: "I'm retiring on top."

Since: Jun 15, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2011 11:41 am

Winning NBA Finals validates Mavs' Cuban

( LBJ is a great player and proved it in this series. Yes because what is overshawdowed here is the MAVS defense would not let him do what he does best, hence 10 pts a gm less in the finals than vs suposedly better defenses in Chicago and Boston. ) How can you say that LBJ proved in this series he was a great player? A great player shows up when it counts especially in the 4th quarter's...and let's not forget especially in the 3rd and 4th quarter in a ELIMINATION game. In a game where it's WIN or GO HOME...Hmmmm Where was LBJ last nite? At least you can say Dirk showed up, even in games they lost....Miami's problem i believe is they have to many so called superstars that want to be the hero and in miamis case it don't work yes they did good in the regular season and yes they did ok in the playoffs, But they didn't do the biggest thing of them all WIN THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP.....And i don't personaly believe these three so called miami big men will win a championship together. I know there will be alot of people disagreeing with me but once again that is just my opinion.

Since: Jun 20, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 10:59 am

Winning NBA Finals validates Mavs' Cuban

Cuban won this title as he sat in the shawdows of obscurity, WHY?  He did this because he knew he had salty veterans up and down this line up.  He had Dirk with one thing on his mind and role players who didn't bow to the king.  We went into Miami and stole this from them before they knew what hit them.  Not like in 06 when Wade touched the ball along with a whistle and 96 free throws (16 a gm) that ruined a potential great series.  There was something in Dirk's eye that showed nothing short of Larry O'Brien trophys could resolve.  Yes they were the only ones who knew they would win.  SO let me ask this "are we still waiting to see if LaBron will take over the series?"  MAVS defense saysthat was never the case.  You cannot drive past 5 players continually and win, ask Wade when he met Cardinal at the side of the rim.

Game over

Since: Jun 20, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 10:53 am

Winning NBA Finals validates Mavs' Cuban

You could see it in his eyes in the first series, Cuban was sitting on a winer and he knew it.  This is why he sat back and let the players prove they were the best.  All the talk and I mean all of it was focused on LaBron James and this is a cruel reality.  LBJ is a great player and proved it in this series.  Yes because what is overshawdowed here is the MAVS defense would not let him do what he does best, hence 10 pts a gm less in the finals than vs suposedly better defenses in Chicago and Boston.  DEFENSE won this series and Cuban knew it.  With salty veterans, Marion, Kidd, Terry, Stoiakavic, Chandler and the bug.  Oh and that German fella everyone forgot about.

The better team won

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2011 10:38 am

Winning NBA Finals validates Mavs' Cuban

@Warner to Holt- my thoughts exactly.  Yes, Cuban can be bombastic and act like a horse's rear end at times but there is no denying his passion for the game and his doing all he can to make the Mavs successful.  And I like the fact that he didn't gloat after winning the title- he showed a lot of class in talking about what he learned and remembering to thank everyone involved.  He seems like he has a good relationship with his players, the coaching staff, and the Mavs' fans.  Congrats to the Mavs and to Mr. Cuban!  

Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: June 13, 2011 10:37 am

Winning NBA Finals validates Mavs' Cuban

Probably because his Mavs deposed "King James"?

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2011 8:59 am

Winning NBA Finals validates Mavs' Cuban

I used to think that I hated Mark for some reason I want to buy him a beer.  Congrats Dallas.

Since: May 13, 2011
Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:53 am

Winning NBA Finals validates Mavs' Cuban

that moron riley has egg on his face he gave away number 1 draft picks to do a sign and trade instead of just signing james and bosh as free agents they would have signed without the extra year on the contract you didnt have to do a sign and trade you moron you gave all those draft picks away you idiot for nothing and then you lose anyway yes you are a loser

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:48 am

Winning NBA Finals validates Mavs' Cuban

And this is why the Knicks won't win another championship in the near future - because the Knicks owner is a dumb-ass drunk.

How I wish Cuban would buy the Knicks from the Dolan family. 

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