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.


Haze85

Mr. Cuban,

When are you finally going to do the honorable thing and come home and buy the Pirates? We have been suffering for as long as I can remember. That pain is only magnified by seeing how you've made winning a number one priority and brought a struggling franchise like Dallas to the top of the league. Upon an announcement of you buying the Pirates, I, like many others, would purchase season tickets the next day and get ready for the return to glory. So when are you going to save us?!

seth sd

Is there a way to do part-time statistical consulting for an NBA team, if we think we have strong qualifications and important assistance to offer?

echalom

Mark, any interest in having Levitt and Dubner look into NBA officiating? Maybe they need an anonymous benefactor ...

jreifler

When sports team owners ask for public funds to build a new stadium because their team is so unprofitable, should we believe them?

What do you think of public subsidies for sports franchises generally?

Do you think that flopping to draw fouls is becoming a problem in the NBA? The playoffs sometimes feel like the World Cup with all the dives. What would you think about a new rule against flopping, similar to the defensive three seconds or the old illegal defense rule (warning, followed by technical foul that doesn't accrue towards getting ejected)?

My favorite non-Wake Forest player, Manu Ginobili, would probably suffer the most under a rule like this.

cyclewolf

Hi Mark,

Fantastic job with those Mavs, they've been great pleasure to watch these last couple of years.
Three questions...
Could the NBA institute an auction to replace its draft lottery?
Thus teams would be paying players what they were worth eliminating this strange fiasco where teams like the bulls, clips have stockpiles of cheap draft talent that should be spread throughout league. And players would be giving maximal effort right away rather than waiting for their contract year on a rookie contract. It would also eliminate one incentive for great prospects to enter the league too early.
Second question, how much is the NBA affected by unintended consequences?
The league changes to best of sevens throughout playoffs, but inadvertently dilutes the impact of each particular game (there is no Super bowl, or NCAA excitement, despite the obvious tremendousness of the product.)
The league cracks down on bench jumping for brawls, but incites cheap shots in the hope of large rewards (i.e. the Horry incedent.)
The expands to enrich everyone, owners, players, etc... but ultimately is left with less scarcity, and too much product. (Do we really need Atlanta, Memphis?)
The league agrees on a crazed salary cap system, and thus handicaps some of the most popular franchises (Knicks, Celts, 76ers) at the expense of all fans, in an attempt to reign in costs...

Read more...

SearchAllDeals

Here are a few questions:

* Why does the NBA allow a dictatorship style decision-making on suspensions and interpretation of rules? What is the check-and-balance against David Stern?

* Why aren't instant-replays used to make better officiating calls? I understand stoppage of play is a problem, but why not allow 2-3 replay challenges in 1 game?

* What do you think of Robert Horry's foul against Steve Nash?

* Why do they keep playing the same commercials during time-outs (yes, i'm talking about tmobile.)? Why not have a more diverse set of advertisers that will keep audience interest better?

ryanmw

After you graduated college, what made you choose Dallas as your permanent home? Are you happy with your choice?

jonschuller

Mark,
Will NBA owners every sacrifice profits in the short term in order to improve the product they are trying to sell? For instance, watching the end of a close basketball game can be unbearable because of the constant play stoppage in the last minute. If the league reduced the number of timeouts it would make the games more thrilling at the cost of advertising dollars.

nedluddsipod

Mark:

Since you seem to have a unique perspective on life and are not afraid to be a contrarian what are your thoughts on philanthropy? I have recently read that Warren Buffett's donations to the Gates Foundation are supposed to be spent over a limited period of time rather than using the capital to generate more income and utilized later as well as now. I don't get this; had this happened in 1952, and had polio been the cause, the money would have bought a bunch of iron lungs but not helped develop a vaccine.

Do you have any long term philanthropy plans and if you do, what are they?

Paul Hoffman

What do you know about your customers for the Mavericks (that is, the fans) that you can act on to bring in more customers or cause your current customers to bring you more profit? Have you done it all yet? If not, why not?

Kent

Please ask Mark Cuban if he likes cats. Thank you very much.

Chris Thomas

Mark:
You and The Donald, a tub of chocolate pudding, Bill Cosby as the referee... with all other factors being equal, who wins?
Seriously, The Blog Candidate show idea for HDNet, when do we start production on that?

prosa

Some teams, the Celtics in particular, have begun issuing media credentials to bloggers. Do the Mavs have a policy regarding this issue?

aalexa1

As a 20-year old college student who aspires to be an investment advisor, I am very interested in hearing more about your thoughts on the stock market. I do agree that their is usually symmetrical information in the stock markets, and putting your money in alternative investments (as you have done with many young companies) is usually more profitable. However, what are the implications for the average investor who doesn't have the time or resources to act as a venture capitalist?

Nick

I think winning sells tickets, but personalities sell merchandise. In that vein, how much $$ do you think your courtside personality is worth?

Kent

If you could be a cat or a bumble bee for 3 hours which would you be and why? Thank you.

steelndirt

How long will it be before teams start giving partial ownership of the franchise to players instead of paying a salary to the star players? It could get around the salary cap and it would give the star players incentive to invest themselves with the team since they would get a cut.

davidj

Dear Mr. Cuban,

What advice do you have for a collegiate graduate like myself and just entering the real world looking to be successful in the business world? thanks.

bhess

Mark,

I know you share my interest in toilet-paperless toilets. What needs to happen in order for that dream to become an average household reality? What do I need to design to make it happen?

DanSwis

Being that I just finished reading a great article from the Washington Post's blog about Caron Butler attending a random teenager's birthday party (http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2007/05/a_caron_butler_surprise.html), I figured I would ask:

Mark, will you come to my birthday party?