Mavs owner Cuban lets Bulls borrow his jet

Mark Cuban is many things.

NBA owner . . . reality television star . . . television and movie mogul.

And now, he’s an airplane loaner.

“Our plane broke, @mcuban loaned us his, nice guy . . . ” Chicago Bulls forward Lou Amundson posted on his Twitter account on early Thursday morning after Cuban loaned his private team plane to Chicago, whose own team plane suffered a scary situation in midflight over the weekend.

Cuban lent his plane to the Bulls on Tuesday so they could travel to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Wednesday, the New York Daily News reports.

On Saturday night, the Bulls had a mid-flight scare that left them without a team plane after safely landing back in Chicago after first taking off for their scheduled trip to Indianapolis.

“Apparently a compressor in engine No. 3 had some trouble, and it sounded like it exploded, but I guess it’s like a jet engine backfire, which is very loud,” Bill Wennington, the Bulls radio analyst, said Monday on the “Waddle & Silvy Show” in Chicago. “Sparks fly out of it. It happened actually right after . . . the captain thrusts the engines forward and it revs up and starts to go, about three seconds after that you hear a ‘Boom!’ ‘Oh, what was that, are we stopping?’ The plane keeps going down [the runway] and you’re thinking, ‘Oh no, why aren’t we stopping?’

“It was funny, because we’re in the back of the plane, and the engines are right by us, and we hear it. They can’t hear it [in the front of the plane]. And apparently they couldn’t feel anything. And so we take off fine, and about five minutes later, two more booms, ‘Boom!, Boom!,’ and a couple people saw flames and sparks and stuff flying out [while looking out of] the window. We’re all thinking, ‘Well, it’s been nice.'”

The plane turned around and landed at Chicago O’Hare airport, where the players then returned home before taking the Chicago Blackhawks plane to Indianapolis on Sunday morning for their scheduled game against the Pacers.  The Bulls used the Blackhawks plane to return home on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks, who had been home since returning from Houston on Sunday night, did not need their plane again until the team left for Detroit on Thursday, which made it available for the Bulls to use for their mid-week trip to central Texas.

Cuban retweeted the post by Amundson, but has yet to comment on the situation.

But since the Bulls are in the Eastern Conference, one has to wonder if Cuban would have been so generous with a Western Conference rival like the Spurs or Los Angeles Lakers?