Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is known as one of the best owners in all of sports. His creative, savvy, and supportive mindset isn’t an agenda, it’s a passion and something he loves. Unlike many sports owners who are cashing a check for the sake of cashing it, Cuban’s winning attitude has instilled a different passion within the city of Dallas and its fans.
And just like the fans, Cuban expects the team to be great in all respects, from the arena, to the product on the floor, all the way to the community engagement of the team and its players.
“He’s just a guy that takes care of his players and his team,” DeShawn Stevenson, part of the 2011 NBA champion Mavericks told DIME. “He always showed respect to me, even to this day. He’s a stand up guy. If I text or call him he’ll always respond. He is just very passionate about winning.”
As a successful businessman, entrepreneur and owner, Cuban has opinions on just about everything. From politics to robotics, business ideas to ownership and beyond, he always has something. So we at DIME were eager to talk to Cuban about the Mavericks’ upcoming season, and more.
DIME: How do you feel the offseason went for the Mavericks?
Mark Cuban: Great. We wanted continuity, to get younger and to add in the draft. We did that. And I think people will be surprised by how much [Jeff] Withey and [Josh] McRoberts can contribute.
Dennis Smith Jr. — you guys drafted him high and everyone seems to love this kid. What were the reasons behind the pick and what do you like about him?
We had him top-3 on our board going into the season. We love his basketball IQ, his ability to attack and his passing ability. He is a basketball player that happens to be athletic.
Can you just speak to what Dirk Nowitzki brings to the table? Every player I’ve talked to raves about his ability to lead, his commitment and dedication plus his attitude and personality.
I took an hour long yoga class with Dirk at 9AM this morning. 3 hours later? He just finished his workout. Every one on this team sees how hard he works and how important it is to him. That’s what true leadership is. We have been working together for 19 years. It always amazes me how hard he works. First in, last out.
What can be changed in the NBA as far as rules go? It seems like every season we discuss a few different rules that aren’t needed or need to be adjusted.
We need to get rid of the clear path. Fans and most players don’t understand the rule or know why it’s there. There is not evidence that it deters fouling and it almost always has to be reviewed which slows the game down. Make it a regular foul and get rid of the infection control rule. We are in the 21st century. I’ve proposed both, but the competition committee has said no.
So this new BIG3 league has been started by Ice Cube. They played in Dallas and the crowd and atmosphere was incredible. If you had a BIG3 player not in the NBA today, who would it be?
Rasheed Wallace. It’s not 3-on-3 without someone yelling “ball don’t lie.” Also, Kobe and Mark Price would be my other two. Need a couple old guys in there to rep us grey beards!
What are your thoughts on the BIG3 overall?
I thought it was fun. It will be more work to sustain it after the novelty but they have some really smart people working on it. Plus, 3-on-3 is now an Olympic sport. Even if the rules are different, they can have some fun pulling in some olympics teams to play to generate more interest.
What do you expect from the Mavericks this season? With the pieces you have, can you expect the playoffs?
I never make predictions, but we are going in thinking we can win every game.
What it’s like being on Shark Tank? If I had a business idea, would you listen?
I love doing the shows. It sends the message that anyone can live the American dream. But, there is no way I would listen to an idea from you!
What? Why is that?