Thursday, May 22, 2014

In Music City: The Unrepentant, Impolitic, Irrepressible Mark Cuban


CUBAN WAS IN NASHVILLE YESTERDAY to speak at the GrowCo conference for entrepreneurs sponsored by Inc. magazine.  I was not there, nor have I ever considered myself a big Cuban fan,  but read about his talk in today's Tennessean and kind of liked it.  Promising to give his audience the full Mark Cuban, he apologized in advance for any unseemly things he might be about to say.

After skimming his Q and A in the paper,  I thought it would be fun to pull out a few of his quotes,  then make my own comments in parentheses following them.  So be're about to get bits of the full Mark Cuban followed by my own comments which I will call the full Webutante:

Q:  On owning the Mavericks:

A: Everybody thinks we're in the basketball business.  It's an NBA game; we're not in the basketball business. We're in the business of creating unique experiences.

Q: On his relationship with NBA Commissioner David Stern:  

A:  We get along great.  And the few things we didn't agree on,  he had the authority to fine me on.

Q: On whether or not he will vote to oust  Clippers owner Donald Sterling:

A: You'll find out.  I know how I'm going to vote, but I'm not ready to comment on it.

(Does anyone really think for even a moment that Cuban will vote to oust Sterling?  Cuban is a free market libertarian for goodness sake and my money is on Cuban standing up and saying NO!  to Sterling's ouster, if it's even legal to begin with---which I doubt.  There are going to be such major lawsuits that come from this case,  I predict this situation will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court with Sterling ultimately prevailing.)

Q: On how to keep bigotry out of the NBA:

A: You don't.  There's no law against stupid.

( I couldn't agree with Cuban more.  In my opinion,  Sterling is a very unsavory character on many levels....just looking at his photos gives me the willies.  Yet,  I have the right to self-sensor and delete him from my computer screen,  not think about his wayward womanizing lifestyle, and best of all, not patronize his NBA team, letting the financial chips fall where they may. Beyond that,  there's not much else I or we can or should do about Sterling.  I refuse to squander my time or emotional energy on the likes of  him.  Why let him be anything more than a short-term source of outrage?)

Q: On stupidity in general

A:  I'm the one guy who says don't force the stupid people to be quiet----I want to know who the morons are....

(I agree.  No matter how hard we try, we will never legislate stupidity, bigotry, racism and misogyny out of society or the marketplace.  We live in a fallen world, and until it's one day renewed and made right, we try to make it otherwise at our great peril.  And we also risk substantially curtailing our First Amendment rights, not to mention our property rights for the illusion of never being offended.  Bigoted people who are forced to be too quiet don't stop thinking what they think. It never works. We got to rememer that dirtbags will be dirtbags and there's often nothing we can do about it but walk away....)

Q:  On bigotry in general

A. I know I'm prejudiced and I know I'm bigoted in a lot of different ways.  If I see a black kid in a hoodie on my side of the street,  I'll move to the other side of the street.  If I see a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos,  I'll move back to the other side of the street.  None of us have pure thoughts;  we all live in glass houses.

(My thoughts exactly. Anyone who thinks they have pure and all-good, politically correct thoughts is kidding themselves.  Call it discrimination or just preferences,  I reserve the right to pick and choose my thoughts, my friends and where and what I do with my time and energies.  Mark Cuban nails it for me.)

Q:  On how to fix the national economy

A:  Until you fix the student loan bubble, we don't have a chance.  Everything else is shifting lawn chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

(Amen, brother Cuban.  Well-said.  Thank you for bringing your political incorrectness to Music City, a place in dire need of your frankness today.)

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