Dallas Mavericks

Mark Cuban Named 'Honorary Starter' for 2014 Indianapolis 500

Apr 26, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reacts during the game against the San Antonio Spurs in game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Dallas won 109-108. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 20, 2014

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has always been the loudest guy in the room, but it'll be hard to hear him over the roar of engines when he waves the green flag at the Indianapolis 500 this coming weekend.

Per a release from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's official site, Cuban will be the honorary starter for the 98th running of the prestigious race on May 25.

"Whether it's winning an NBA Championship or the honor of waving the green flag to start the Indianapolis 500, there are certain sporting events that are monumental for any true sports fan,” said Cuban.  "I am excited to come back to Indiana, not just to attend, but actually participate in this historic race."

Cuban's ties to the Hoosier State are strong.

He founded Broadcast.com, which he later sold to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion, because he wanted to listen to Indiana basketball games on his computer, per Jim Peltz of the Los Angeles Times.

And there's also this nugget from Kurt Helin of NBC Sports: "Cuban used to own one of the most popular bars in Bloomington while in college. What, you expected otherwise?"

Absolutely not. In fact, I'm surprised he only owned one of the most popular bars in his old college town. He seems like a guy who'd buy them all up and monopolize the situation.

Mar 25, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reacts from his seat in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Center. The Mavs beat the Thunder 128-119 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TOD

A businessman to the core, you'd have to suspect there's some entrepreneurial bent to Cuban's flag-waving at the big race. After all, he doesn't approach any situation without formulating a dozen ideas about how to capitalize on it.

Maybe he's thinking of buying a racing team.

Or perhaps he's got plans to convert the already unusually comfy chairs on the Mavericks bench into custom-designed racing seats. Ergonomics are important—and they might be an exploitable market inefficiency in the NBA on which he plans to capitalize.

Better still, I'll bet he's planning to lease that huge swath of grass in the middle of the track. You know, for when he puts his aging veteran core—including Vince Carter, Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki—out to pasture.

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