Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been press-shy. He says what he wants when he wants, and that off-the-cuff manner has led to over $1.5 million in fines issued by the NBA. It’s also what makes him perhaps the most beloved owner of any major sports franchise.
The brash tactics were on display again during a radio interview to KESN-FM (h/t Dallas Morning News) this week. Cuban had some choice words about former Maverick Jason Kidd, who recently signed a two-year deal with the New York Knicks (a fact unbeknownst to the Dallas owner at the time).
“I was more than upset, I thought he was coming back. I was pissed.”
His comments elicited a mini firestorm, especially when he spoke truthfully how the signing “hurt [his] feelings” and effectively put an end on talks the Mavericks would retire Kidd’s number.
Cuban is always telling us how he really feels, and his attitude towards Kidd is reasonable. If anything, it’s a reminder as to why the fanbase will always fervently have Cuban’s back.
Fans will remember Jason Kidd’s second time with the Mavericks fondly. It was a great moment seeing the 38 year-old veteran hoist the Larry O'Brien after 17 seasons in the league. However, when Cuban initially brought in Kidd, the reaction was mostly negative. After all, he traded away Devin Harris, the younger and promising point guard, for a player many thought was washed-up and past his prime.
Cuban took a risk bringing in Jason Kidd in 2008. It’s a testament to how strongly he felt Kidd played with the Mavericks that even after last season’s mediocre statistics (he averaged 6.2 points a game, the lowest of his career), Cuban wanted to bring him back.
But in July, it was announced that Kidd was officially a Knick. And though Cuban’s feelings my have been hurt, it’s entirely possible the Mavericks got the better end of the deal. Yes, they missed out on signing Deron Williams. But it was always a long shot to land him anyway because the Brooklyn Nets would be able to offer more money.
The supporting cast of players the Mavericks have brought in this offseason is an intriguing mix: Elton Brand, Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo. None of these guys are going to be in contention for the All-Star team, but they are impact players.
Mayo, in particular, who had two seasons of underwhelming performances with the Memphis Grizzlies, might have a shot under coach Rick Carlisle to reach the potential he showed as a rookie.
Jason Kidd, meanwhile, marked his return to the Northeast by getting a DUI. Also, with the Knicks declining to match an offer on Jeremy Lin, he’s now the likely backup point guard to Raymond Felton, who last season looked out of shape and fatigued with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Mavericks visit Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks on November 9. It’s an interesting matchup, especially since Tyson Chandler, Kidd’s teammate on the Knicks, was also an integral part of the championship team for Dallas.
When the times come, we’re sure Cuban will have plenty to say on the matter.