Mikhail Prokhorov is the most intriguing and buzzworthy name among owners is sports these days. That used to be Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. It’s hard to say that he revolutionized sports ownership because there has not been anyone like him since, but Cuban has clearly left his mark on all professional sports. Never afraid to state his opinion on just about any topic, many of Cuban’s comments on the NBA have resulted in fines. And just about all of those were said intentionally to get fined – fines bring even more attention to the comments.
According to Cuban though, his most recent six-figure fine was unintentional. David Stern has clearly imposed an over-the-top anti-tampering clause against all NBA teams related to the upcoming free agency period. Stern wants attention focused on the games and then the draft and then free agency. In this case, Cuban made the mistake of speaking out before the games were over. He also made the mistake of being Mark Cuban. He was fined $100K by the league for saying this to CNNMoney.com:
“Come July 1st, yeah, of course, anybody would be interested in LeBron James. And if he leaves via free agency, then it’s going to be tough. If he does like I’m guessing, hoping he will, which is say, ‘I’m not going to leave the Cavs high and dry,’ if he decides to leave – there’s still a better chance he stays – then he’ll try to force a sign-and-trade and that gives us a chance.”
Mark Cuban joined Dan LeBatard on 790 the Ticket in Miami to discuss the Heat’s championship over the Mavs, his most recent fine, investments, and Girls Gone Wild.
On Tim Donaghy’s comments that the Heat’s championship run had to do more with the league not liking Mark Cuban than Dwyane Wade’s greatness:
“You really wanted to ruin my day, didn’t you? There’s nothing to say. All you have to do is look at the video and it says it all. I’ve already paid my dues on that one… I knew what was coming and it came.”
On if there is anything he won’t answer:
“As long as it doesn’t get me fined by the NBA, I’m usually pretty cool about it. There is no reason to repeat the same mistakes. If you ask me about players prior to July 1, I’m not going to answer. And when I did get fined, that was one of the few times that I didn’t get fined on purpose. They caught me on a weak moment. It was the last question in an hour long interview on technology and business that went into detail. My guard was down. I tried to talk around it, but I didn’t do a good job.”
On Mikhail Prokhorov:
“I haven’t met him yet. I took Russian in high school and a little bit in college, so I can’t wait to give him a hard time. I want to party with this dude. Can you imagine him on South Beach when they’re playing the Heat?”
On the biggest investment hit he has taken because he was wrong:
“In the last ten years, nothing. I’m jinxing myself by saying that. I really haven’t had any big losses at all where I have just taken a hit… I’m not a huge risk taker at all. I hedge everything… I don’t buy stocks hoping they go up so I can sell. I try to buy stocks that pay me back something so that I can hold them as long as I need to. As long as they pay me dividends or interest, that’s OK.”
On how often people ask him for money:
“Every day. I look at it as a great problem to have. I get these emails that say, ‘Call me right now. This is urgently important.’ Obviously, I don’t call, but I’ll send an email back. I’ll be like, ‘What happened? Put whatever you want an email.’ And it will be, ‘Oh, I need my teeth fixed. I need hair implants. I need breast implants.’ People just ask. It’s always, ‘This is a long shot, but I heard you were a really nice guy. This is just one one-zillionth of your wealth so if you gave me $20,000 for breast implants, I would really appreciate it.’ It’s humorous, but I look at it as a nice problem to have… I have this rule of thumb that if you are looking where everyone else is looking to invest, you are looking in the wrong place.”
And on David Stern’s reaction to his affiliation with Girls Gone Wild:
“He’s a regular viewer. What do you mean? Look, every owner has a ton of different businesses. It’s like if Comcast shows a show on NBA Universal, is the NBA going to get mad? It’s a television network. The NBA has no say in it. Who cares? It’s a completely separate business. The NBA has no say.”