People say money can’t buy happiness. If you’re Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban, truer words have never been spoken. Billionaires by their very nature are eccentric. They didn’t gain their massive fortune by being nice or all together pleasant to be around. They’re ruthless, surly businessmen with lofty goals for themselves and the people they employ. They’re aggressive, tactical; possess great foresight and the ability to see around corners. So when someone gets the best of them, or they perceive that someone got the best of them, they tend to make life difficult for that person. They lash out. In the case of Mark Cuban, they act like a two-year old.
Derek Fisher is a former Cuban employee that probably wishes he wasn’t. In fact, Mark Cuban actually booed his former player. Yes, a Billionaire that is worth more than the State of Mississippi actually booed someone at a sporting event. How did that make Derek feel? If I were you, I wouldn’t give it a second thought.
Derek Fisher was granted his release from Dallas in December, so he could rehab his knee injury and focus on his role as the President of the NBA Players Association. Fisher asked to be released, and Mark Cuban granted it. That’s it. That should be the end to this story. Apparently Mark Cuban feels differently. Sometime after rehabbing his injury and masterfully fulfilling his role as President of the NBAPA, Derek Fisher decided he wanted to play basketball again. He felt he could still compete and contribute at the highest level. So what did he do? He signed a contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He also awoke a snarling beast in Dallas.
Cuban is actually upset because Fisher did not call him to tell him he was going to sign with the Thunder. He is upset because Fisher did not give the Mavericks the chance to resign the aging star. He is upset because he is a Billionaire, and for once, he didn’t get his way. The last time I checked, NBA owners and GMs cut players all the time. They do so with little regard for the players’ well-being. They do not care if the player they just released signs with another team. In fact, it’s better for said owner if they player does not. That would validate their own move in cutting the player. Who cares if the player is forced to try to carve out a living in the D-league or Europe? The Owners certainly do not.
There is nothing worse in sports than a strike or lockout; Millionaires fighting Billionaires while the people they depend on to keep them in those tax brackets struggle to pay rent or find jobs. This however is a close second. Anyone that even casually follows the NBA knows Mark Cuban. They see him during Mavericks games running on the court and acting like the rules do not apply to him. Still, even with his history of absurd behavior, booing a former player and encouraging your fans to follow suit is just plain disgusting. It’s not befitting of an NBA owner, and it’s certainly not befitting a wealthy, successful businessmen. Some have taken the flip side and actually tried to place blame on Derek Fisher. They site his exit from the Utah Jazz (details I have no desire to go into). They say he was chasing a ring by signing with the Thunder.
Even if Derek Fisher had some masterful plan to exit Dallas that involved asking for his release, so what? Cuban still had to grant the release. If he truly thought Fisher was worth keeping, if he thought Fisher could help in any way, he would have come to some sort of agreement with him. After all, Cuban is first and foremost a businessman. He didn’t accumulate his fortune by making bad deals and not covering his ass. He released Fisher free and clear. Shame on him for his own stupidity. Shame on him for his classless and petty actions. It’s very easy to see why Major League Baseball wants nothing to do with Mark Cuban as an owner. It’s easy to see why the big-ticket free agents in the NBA want nothing to do with Dallas. LeBron to Dallas? Why? He already played for one crybaby owner and what did that get him? Nothing but heartache.
Cuban needs to lick his wounds and make better deals in the future. He needs to shut his mouth and stop acting like the lunch pal fan that sits in the nose bleed section. He owes Derek Fisher a public apology. We all know none of those things will happen. All we can do is root against the Mavericks and cheer a little harder when they lose.