Mark Cuban on Mavs, D12 & the future
It was the sort of transparent move that separates Cuban from any other owner in the NBA; it shows vulnerability, acknowledges massive failure and yet somehow displays a seemingly rational confidence in the team's future.
A lesser man would have a hard time releasing a written statement like this one, but this is the kind of thing we expect from Mark Cuban.
The biggest failure acknowledged by Cuban was his inability to persuade Dwight Howard to join Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas. As you may have heard, Dwight left the Lakers to join the Houston Rockets this summer. The Mavericks owner and his confidants had placed a large proportion of their eggs in the "Dwight Basket," and Howard's decision was definitely a substantial setback for the organization.
How, exactly, did Cuban approach the recruitment of D12? In the blog post, the Mavs owner posted the following animated video, which he explains was a crucial part of the team's pitch to Howard during his meeting with Dallas brass:
OK, let's step back and acknowledge what went on here. A group of successful businessmen, including billionaire Mark Cuban and NBA executive Donnie Nelson, came to the conclusion that the best way to persuade Dwight Howard (a grown man and a millionaire himself) to come to Dallas would be through a cartoon that literally depicts Dwight as a supernatural being from another planet who is destined for greatness.
That actually happened.
And the funniest part? The cartoon was actually a good idea! Dwight Howard has a tendency to behave like an absolute child, so why not make him a video that a child would adore?
As odd as the idea of showing that video to a grown man in a recruitment meeting is, isn't it even funnier that Dwight probably walked out thinking to himself, "Man, that cartoon was pretty cool!"
Cuban goes on to make numerous revealing points, like some added rationale behind the team's decision to let Tyson Chandler leave for the Knicks, a couple of thoughts on the league's increasingly popular "contend or tank" strategy and the emotion regarding his pledge to never consider trading Nowitzki. It is definitely worth a read for die-hard basketball fans everywhere.
The headline-grabber, however, is the Dwight Howard cartoon. If you are recruiting an egotistical player, you have to play the game the right way, and it's hard to blame Cuban for taking the route that he did in regard to Dwight. But hey, that doesn't mean we can't laugh at the idea of it, either.
How will Mavericks fans feel about Cuban's post? There are some rightfully bitter people in Dallas about Cuban's decision to let Chandler walk after the role that he played in Dallas' first and only championship, but this blog post should help them forgive their team's owner.
Other team owners, like Jim Buss of the Lakers, might want to take note. Transparency and honesty can go a long way in the hearts of loyal fans.