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For Mark Cuban and Dallas Mavericks, Future Is Uncertain

Robert CenzonCorrespondent INovember 17, 2008

Allegations of insider trading by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban come at an inopportune time for both him and his franchise.

Cuban's atypical (at least for an NBA franchise) business-like management style has had its share of detractors over the years.

While his team nearly captured the NBA Championship in 2006, the seemingly inexplicable refereeing of the 2006 NBA Finals have led some to wonder if the Mavs' demise was not, at least in some small way, blow back from Cuban's brash, outspoken personality.

Though he is a billionaire, and oft-characterized as willing to spend whatever it takes to win, Cuban has displayed an unusual strain of fiscal conservatism throughout his tenure as owner. Most emblematic of this conservatism was Cuban's decision to allow Steve Nash, the eventual two-time NBA MVP, to leave for the Phoenix Suns.

It is to be noted, however, that in a bizarre twist, that should call into question the soundness of his judgment, Cuban would later opt to trade for Jason Kidd—who is both older than Nash, and higher paid.

It is this history of both risk aversion as well as questionable decision-making that lend credence to the possibility that Cuban participated in insider trading.

Cuban's passion for his team is undeniable, and is certainly above reproach. Yet, as the Mavs stand at 3-7 with an aging point guard, questionable defense, and an even more questionable future, perhaps it is time that Cuban rein in his vociferous personality.

Not only does he risk the future of a franchise which finds itself clearly at a crossroads, but he would be risking his own future and that of his reputation.

Cuban's approach to ownership is certainly not without merit, but he has been perhaps a bit too overzealous. An opportunity, albeit not a completely auspicious one, to step back is presenting itself to him. He would do well to take it.

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