Last night the 32-49 Dallas Mavericks stole the NBA spotlight and were the talk of the entire sports world.
It was the national attention Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been whining for since the beginning of the season when he revoked the press credentials of ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon because of MacMahon’s expanded NBA role in which he moved from full-time Mavericks coverage to a more general position that included other teams, teams that didn’t need to resort to a publicity stunt to be relevant during the season.
By now everyone with a TV or internet connection knows about Cuban’s circus-like stunt to make former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo a Maverick For A Day. Usually when an athlete from another sport is honored by an NBA team they get courtside seats and a tribute on the big screen, which is enough to most. However, Cuban elected to make Romo a Mav for a day, had him present in the team picture, participating in warm-ups and in full uniform on the team’s bench.
Cuban’s stunt was brilliant to some and silly to others, I side with the latter. The honoring of Romo by the Mavericks was a cheesy, unnecessary, uncomfortable display of desperation by one of the most intelligent, polarizing and hypocritical owners in all of sports.
Romo looked like an attention-hungry, outta place figure with a dad bod in an NBA uniform. The Mavs looked like a gimmicky, desperate franchise thirsty for attention, which is unfortunate considering the fact they won an NBA Championship just six-years-ago.
I’m not sure why Romo wanted to do this and despite some of his quotes during the game I’ve talked to some people close to the situation that say Romo wanted this because he didn’t feel he got the proper attention from the Cowboys when he announced his decision to be a broadcaster during the 2017 NFL season. Maybe being a decorated NBA mascot for a day served as a nice consolation prize instead of a Cowboys press conference.
I’m not going to call Cuban an NBA loser, his organization has been one of the most successful in the NBA since he purchased it in 2000. I’m also not going discuss the greatness (or lack thereof) of Romo because it’s irrelevant. If the Boston Celtics pull the same circus stunt with Tom Brady when he retires then I would have the same reaction.
However, I am going to call the owner of the Mavericks a hypocrite.
In March of 2014 when the NFL expanded their TV coverage Cuban criticized the league for hogging the spotlight. Here’s a little bit of what Cuban had to say in 2014 about the NFL stealing the spotlight:
“They’re trying to take over every night of TV,” Cuban said. “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered… Initially, it’ll be, ‘Yeah, they’re the biggest-rating thing that there is.’ OK, Thursday, that’s great, regardless of whether it impacts [the NBA] during that period when we cross over… It’s all football. At some point, the people get sick of it.”
Cuban had no issue taking a piece of the pig and putting it on display last night and the NFL, the league Cuban has said is on TV too much was front and center and on TV during it’s offseason. Cuban will likely spin the event as something that benefited the NBA, but it didn’t. Few people cared about that game last night and most people couldn’t even tell you who won the game. This was free publicity for the NFL.
Cuban didn’t get to where he’s at by being dumb, he’s the King of spin. Everything he does is manipulatively justified in a bratty manner regardless of how ridiculous it makes him look. When he revoked MacMahon and Stein’s credentials he spun it as an act of standing up for the league, which any logical person knew was a fabrication, including Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News, who has covered the Mavericks since Cuban bought the team.
Some look at the Romo stunt as a brilliant business move, which is an opinion I can’t argue with, I’m sure last night’s game was the most profitable game of the Mavericks season. However, don’t spin it as the right way to honor Romo or something that was good for the NBA. It was a cheesy publicity stunt.
Respectful NBA franchises shouldn’t resort to side shows like Romo Mav for a day, maybe I’m guilty of holding the Mavericks to too high of a standard. Maybe I need to look at Dallas as the gimmicky franchise they were when Cuban first purchased them rather than the one they became from 2000-2011. Hell, maybe Cuban should resort back to working at Dairy Queens, signing the washed up Dennis Rodman’s of the world and other PR stunts he did when he first purchased the team. It clearly worked last night for the hypocritical, spin master Cuban, who finally got the attention he has been whining for since the start of the season.
Mad Nuggets: You can read Landry Locker’s Mad Nuggets every Monday-Friday afternoon at SportsRadi610.com
— A steady decline?
Since the Mavs won the Championship in 2011 here’s a list of questionable moves Cuban has made each season
2011-12: Broke up championship team. Traded a 1st round pick for Lamar Odom, released him during the season after a disastrous stint. Swept in 1st round of the playoffs.
2012-13: Failed to make the playoffs and signed stop gap free agents OJ Mayo, Darren Collison and Chris Kaman.
2013-14: Failed to land a big-name free agent and had to settle for stop gaps, again. Watch the real Dwight Howard video that they played for Dwight Howard in the next Nug.
2014-15: Failed to land a big-name free agent and overpaid Chandler Parsons. Also traded for Rajon Rondo against Carlisle’s wishes in a deal that sent Jae Crowder and 1st round pick to Boston.
2015-16: Had DeAndre Jordan change his mind after agreeing to sign with the team early in free agency. Also, used a second round pick on Satnam Singh in the 2015 NBA Draft as a favor to Jordan’s agent so that Singh could have taped footage of an ending for his Netflix documentary, this is a true story.
2016-17: Cuban spends the majority of the season alienating a portion of his fanbase by obsessing over the presidential election on social media and ends the season with the Romo circus.
— This is a real video the Mavs showed Dwight Howard in 2013 when they were trying to get him to sign with the team.
— RIP Charlie Murphy. His work of Chapelle’s Show was epic and one of the best displays of comedy sketch acting of my time. I also LOVED him as Gusto in CB4, which is one of my favorite movies.