DALLAS — Mark Cuban is ready to do whatever David Stern wants. He’s already excited about the extra free time he’ll have.
“I’m reborn,” the owner of the Dallas Mavericks said Thursday night during his usual pregame workout. “It’s no longer Mark Cuban, the benefactor. It’s Mark Cuban, David Stern disciple. And I say that with all seriousness. ...
Cuban spoke for nearly 30 minutes before Dallas’ 97-91 loss to San Antonio in the season opener, explaining how eager he is to comply with Stern’s new guidelines for team owners.
The more he talked, the less sincere he seemed.
“Now I have new aspirations beyond winning the title in the NBA, and that’s to fit in and be like everybody else,” Cuban said. “They’re smarter, they’re better, they’re prettier, in better shape, they have nicer teeth.”
The latest round of the Cuban-Stern saga started when Cuban learned of Stern’s plan to impose a list of dos and don’ts for owners. It’s already being calling the Cuban Rule.
Following a meeting he intentionally avoided, Cuban said the league sent an e-mail saying “non-coaches or personnel are not allowed in the huddle or in the proximity of the huddles.”
It did not specifically say owners, nor was he used as an example. Still, there’s no doubt he was the target.
But it was questions about the Cuban Rule that unleashed his “Yes, sir, Mr. Stern” shtick.
“Everything I’ll learn, my gosh, just think of it, all the value to all of my other businesses. Maybe ’Good Night, and Good Luck’ (a movie he co-produced) would’ve won an Academy Award. I just didn’t know. Now I know,” he said.
As frustrated as Cuban might be, he remains committed to the NBA.
“Oh, I love owning the Mavericks,” he said. “The fans, the guys, the competition, the games. Now it’s just the added benefit of going to school at the University of David Stern.
“I trust in David,” Cuban said. “Life is better.”