My Encounter With the Most Interesting Owner in Sports - 05/24/14

I found out less than 24-hours before I was supposed to interview him.  And truth be told, I was a little nervous.  Mark Cuban has a larger than life persona.  Cuban isn't just the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, he's also on Sharktank and taken a shot at Dancing With The Stars.  He seems like someone who's willing to answer anything.  Honestly.  That's certainly caused him plenty of problems over the years (as it turns out, it did before I talked to him).  But for someone in the media like myself, he's a dream.  Or so I thought.

I was told to be at the Omni by 2:15 and I could grab him for a few minutes before he had other interviews and engagements.  So I got there at 2, set up my camera, and waited.

And waited. 

And waited.

First, he couldn't do it because he had to do a scheduled interview.  Alright.  No big deal.  Then he couldn't do it because he had to prepare for his speech with the CEO of INC.  The company that brought him in to Music City.  And maybe I can grab him real quick after that.  Ok.  Cool. 

But it didn't happen. 

Then I was promised I could talk to him after the INC. obligation.  Sounds good.  By this point, I'd been waiting for nearly 3-hours.  But that's ok.  It's Mark Cuban.  Mark Cuban!  He's busy and has a lot on his plate.  My patience was beginning to wear pretty thin though.

It got even thinner when I was told to go to yet another location and set up.  He'd be there in 15-minutes. 

I was all set to go when Cuban and his handlers breezed by me, on to their next appearance.  At this point, I'd had enough.  And I let the PR person know it.  He apologized, and said the elusive owner would be available after THIS obligation.  In 30-minutes. 

Then, it happened. 

After waiting for 4-hours, Mark Cuban walked up to me, shook my hand, and the interview began.

He's tall, with a large frame.  Not what I would call overweight. I would describe him as a "big guy".  Not physically imposing at all, which surprised me a little.  Generally people of his stature, both physically and otherwise, like to use that to their advantage.  Not Cuban.

And he certainly didn't intimidate me or anyone else with his wardrobe.  I gray short-sleeved polo shirt and jeans.  If it wasn't Mark Cuban, you almost get the feeling that he might have been asked to leave the premises.

The first couple of questions were what we in the media call "softballs."  I asked what brought him to Music City, hoping to break the ice a bit.  After all, he doesn't know me.  I don't want to make him mad or cause a problem right out of the gate.  I'm trying to get his thoughts on as many questions and topics as I can.

From there, I ask about what he thinks Nashville as a potential home for an NBA team.  Cuban loves the idea, but doesn't know if there's enough talent to support another team. Makes sense to me. 

Next, I ask about one of his players.  Brandon Wright is a Brentwood Academy grad who's played for the Mavericks the last three seasons.  His face lights up when talking about the 6-9 forward.  Cuban refers to Wright as "The Helicopter", loves what he does and his future with the team. 

After a getting his thoughts on this year's playoffs, (He hopes the Spurs win it all, then Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all retire) it's time to get down to it. 

Donald Sterling. 

The four-letter word in NBA circles these days.  I try to come across in as non-threatening a way as possible. 

"I've got to ask you about the Donald Sterling situation.  There's a new development nearly every day.  What are your thoughts on where it's headed and where it's going?"

The most controversial owner in sports isn't fazed at all.  He answers the question with a lengthy, well-thought out response.  That's no surprise.  I'm sure he's been asked this only about a thousand times in the last few weeks. 

But I decide to press him a bit on it.

"Is it frustrating that this may get drawn out and might go through a lot of legal circles before getting resolved?"

He doesn't miss a beat.  Calmly describing that his frustration lies in the fact that it has taken away from what has been a great playoffs.  And that no one wants to go through what the NBA is going through right now.  But if there's something good to come from it, it's that no one is bigger than the game. 

I couldn't agree more. 

I get the "last question"  from the PR guy.  So I end it with this, "You've made overtures at owning another team.  Do you still hope to own another pro sports team someday, or are you done?"

His response was awesome.  "I'm done.  I am so done.  I'm beyond done.  When I looked into the Cubs and other team, that was before I had kids." After laughing, he added, "Now I'm having too much fun with my family."

I told him as a sports fan, I thought that was too bad because he's a great owner.  And I really believe he is. 

Cuban then shook my hand, told me he appreciated it, and walked off.  He's the first billionaire I've ever shaken hands with, by the way.

So four and a half hours after arriving to interview Mark Cuban, I got my man.  Five minutes and 37-seconds worth, from beginning to end.  It's the longest I've ever waited to talk to someone.  And I can honestly say, it was worth it.

 

Get This

Last Update on October 22, 2014 09:06 GMT

OBAMA - BOYFRIEND

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Maybe he thought he was talking to a certain one of President Obama's Democratic predecessors. A Chicago guy saw Barack Obama casting an early vote in Chicago the other day -- and when the president ended up standing up near his girlfriend, the man issued a mock warning to the chief executive: "Don't touch my girlfriend." The president took the joke in stride, laughing and saying of the boyfriend: "There's an example of a brother just embarrassing me for no reason." The woman apologized, but then Obama flipped the script on the make-believe jealous suitor. He gave the woman a kiss and told her to "Give him something to talk about."

ELECTRIC BILL

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- That should pay for an awful lot of lights on an awful lot of nights. A New Mexico man says he made an error while paying his electric bill that led him to overpay by thousands of dollars. KOB-TV reports Ira Karmiol made a mistake in keying in his bill payment -- instead of$278 dollars, he entered a fourth digit, rocketing the payment up to $2,787. He noticed the mistake a few days later and called the utility, which said its policy requires up to a month to process a refund. A spokesman for The Public Service Company of New Mexico says it will try to resolve the square up the matter "as quickly as possible."

BOBCAT ESCAPES

STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- It's one thing to see a Bobcat at a construction site -- since the machine is pretty popular. But a real, live, bobcat that keeps getting loose in a neighborhood is not so popular with New Jersey authorities. The Asbury Park Press reports Rocky the bobcat has again gone missing from the home of Ginny Fine in Stafford Township. The 38-pound feline was spotted later in the day -- but it ran off into the woods before it could be captured. Town officials and Fine have been clawing at each other over the bobcat's habit of busting loose. Authorities say if Rocky is caught, it will be taken to a zoo. Fine has already been cited for letting Rocky run free.

 
Advertise with us!