Mark Cuban Will Now Take Your Questions

If you’ve ever looked at his blog, you know that Mark Cuban is perhaps the most accessible (and interesting) sports team owner/ media maven/ technology entrepreneur in history. So it was nice to see him stop by our blog to comment on a recent post about why N.B.A. sportswriters get to sit so near the court. Here was Cuban’s comment: “I moved our [Dallas Mavericks] reporters early and often. As long as they get good food and a good seat, the best seats go to the customer.”

I wrote back to Cuban and asked if he’d submit to a Q&A for this blog. He was good enough to agree. As we did with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, we’ll open it up to you to ask Cuban whatever’s on your mind. (Here are the questions you asked Taleb; here are his answers.) So fire away in the comments below, and then we’ll turn Cuban loose on your questions.

Addendum: The answers to your questions can be found here and here.


Mr. Cuban,

You seem to like "reality" TV. How about a philanthropy faceoff between you and Paul Allen?

To make things interesting an appropriate, the rules could be created by Muhammad Yunus.


As a longtime and passionate consumer of music I really enjoyed your latest post on the current state of the music industry. (except the mall walking senior crack!!) I think the contradictions the music industry predicates itself on, as you pointed out, are ripe for a Freakonomics study. My question is this: How can the music industry as we know it survive without DRM. Yet, conversely, how can they survive with it?


How far are we away from a hedge fund buying and actively running a professional sports franchise?


Professional soccer/football teams have for years used "junior" or "youth" teams to develop talent. While the American major sports have the NCAA as their feeder system, do you think this is a project the NBA could use, where they could develop local talent?


Do you ever tire of hearing from Pittsburgh sports fans, begging you to buy their troubled franchises? As a lifelong Pens/Pirates fan, I am hoping the answer is "No -- and I've got my checkbook out right now."



On another blog, you were quoted as saying, "The stock market is probably the worst investment vehicle out there" and that you should only invest your money when you have an informational advantage. First, do you own any stock? And second, what kind of investment opportunities do you think present information asymmetries?


Mr. Cuban,

Has scouting in the NBA evolved? Does MLB's trend toward Moneyball-esque statistical analysis play a larger role in the NBA given the growing number of high-school & foreign players entering the league versus NCAA players of yesteryear?

Btw, if you need a Moneyball-esque stathead on your squad, I'm your guy.


I loved your early bet on HD entertainment - it was spot-on. What industries do you see on the horizon that offer similarly explosive potential?

Also, I like alexhutnik's question on information asymmetry.


What does he think of the Fred Thompson quote?

“Twelve million illegal immigrants later, we are now living in a nation that is beset by people who are suicidal maniacs and want to kill countless innocent men, women and children around the world”


What's the ratio of his index finger to ring finger?


Billy Beane and Theo Epstein have had success in baseball crunching the numbers on draft picks and player signings, rather than buying/selling players on subjective ratings. Are any basketball GM's trying to bring the same approach to the NBA? How much success have they had?


i believe you posted about having inexpensive tickets to Mavericks games so everyone can enjoy the game and not just the super rich. Have you thought about any ways to not only give everyone an opportunity to attend the games, but sit in great seats as well? For example, set aside a small section of expensive seats for randomly selected nose bleed ticket holders?


With the (seemingly) relative ease of placating reporters with decent seats and food, how do you deal with ticketing issues with your paying customers? I ask because I have worked in a college ticketing office, there were always those customers unhappy with seats/ticket prices, you name it. I realize the college environment is different (as donations to the athletics department affect seating, among other issues), but does a professional team present similar challenges?


I don't want to get you fined or anything, but... With the NBA finals at 2-2-2 last season(Mavs and Heat each legitimately won 2 games, with two being horribly marred by poor officiating) and the further impact of officiating this year, what do you think can realistically be done to fix the NBA's referee problem? Do you think the league's decision to suspend Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw, combined with officiating controversy and the horrid matchups left in the conference finals have done real damage to the NBA?


With so much money, enough that your great-grandchildren will (likely) not have to want for anything, why do you keep such a high profile? Why not work off your frustrations with (relatively) low-paid referees by working out with a team of professional trainers in your enormous mansion(s), where you could hatch plans for travel and parties and targeted philanthropy between reading as much as you wanted?


I appreciate your passion as an owner, but do you think that disinteresed owners/investors (or hedge funds one day) buying up teams as a hobby or just another page in their portfolio will be good for the game? What's better in your mind, an owner who loves the game and the team but can't afford a contender's elite roster, or Goldman Sachs coming in and forming the Yankees?
And for fun, what would be your first 3 changes if you became commissioner?


What's the fastest land animal on Earth?


Does tanking really happen in the NBA, or is it just a longstanding rumor?


Why couldn't the crime of "palming the ball" have been decriminalized during my high school basketball career rather than after it?


Would you prefer the NBA to abolish the salary cap, and allow those front offices who want to spend the most do so?