Mark Cuban

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File:Cuban dq.jpg
Cuban worked at Dairy Queen for a one day photo op.

Mark Cuban (born July 31, 1958 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an outspoken billionaire who is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball team.

Early years

Cuban's first foray in the business world was as a garbage bag salesman, when he sold garbage bags around his neighborhood in the south hills of Pittsburgh.

Cuban earned his way to college by giving disco dancing lessons and by writing chain letters. He chose Indiana University because of the school's low cost compared to the nation's other top business schools. Even in college, Cuban was seen as controversial by some: his advisor admonished him for taking advanced courses during his freshman year and he was dissuaded from getting his MBA after getting a bachelor's degree.

Business success

Shortly after college, in 1983, Cuban founded MicroSolutions, which became a major force in the computer industry. He sold the company in the 1990s to CompuServe for six million dollars.

Soon after selling MicroSolutions, Cuban moved to Dallas. While eagerly following his favorite college basketball team, Cuban had the idea of broadcasting live games and events through the internet, which led to the creation of Broadcast.com. In 1999, Cuban earned about $5.7 billion when Yahoo! bought the business.

Sports

With the Yahoo! transaction complete, Cuban decided to pursue his love of basketball, and bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million from a group led by H. Ross Perot, Jr.. The sale was finalized on February 14, 2000.

Cuban has become one of the most controversial NBA team owners in history, piling up a total of more than $1 million in fines, mostly for controversial statements against the league and its referees. In one incident, he asserted that the league's director of officials, Ed Rush, wouldn't be able to manage a Dairy Queen. When Dairy Queen management took offense, Cuban worked for a day at a Dairy Queen in Coppell, Texas, where eager fans lined up in the street to get a Blizzard from the owner of the Mavericks.

Although outspoken, Cuban has played an important role in restoring the Mavericks to championship contender status. He acquired such players as Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Nick Van Exel and Antawn Jamison, all of whom have been credited in bringing the team forward. However, Cuban has received criticism for his erratic hire-and-fire policy each postseason and for providing big contracts for underperforming players, such as Shawn Bradley, Michael Finley and Erick Dampier.

Cuban is a dedicated Mavericks fan, known for flying his $41 million private airplane to attend away games, and his tendency for wearing Mavericks t-shirts and jerseys at games both at home and on the road. Because of this, magazines and newspapers have dubbed him "the fans' dream (come true)."

While attending a Chicago Cubs baseball game on July 15, 2005, Cuban stated that he would consider purchasing his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates if they became available. He also stated interest in joining the current Pirates ownership group. As of 2005, Cuban had expressed an interest in buying the NHL's St. Louis Blues.

Media and entertainment

Cuban continues to work with former Broadcast.com partner Todd Wagner in another venture, 2929 Entertainment. The firm recently purchased Landmark Theatre Corporation, a chain of 185 art house movie theaters. The company is also responsible for the updated version of the TV show Star Search, currently being broadcast on CBS.

Cuban was featured on the cover of the November 2003 premiere issue of Best magazine, announcing the arrival of High Definition Television. Through 2929 Entertainment, Cuban also purchased HDNet, the first high-definition satellite television network. Cuban once appeared on ESPN's talk TV show Around the Horn.

In February 2004, Cuban announced that he would be working with ABC television to produce a new reality television series called The Benefactor. The premise of the six-episode series involved 16 contestants vying to win US $1 million by participating in various games and contests, with their performances being judged by Cuban. It premiered on September 13 2004 but was cancelled before the full season aired.

Cuban claims that he will financially support Grokster in the MGM v. Grokster Supreme Court case.

As of August, 9, 2005, Cuban had begun spearheading ventures in both the social software and distributed networking industries. Cuban runs icerocket.com, soon to be known as Blogscour.com, a search engine which scours the blogosphere for content. Cuban is also a partner in RedSwoosh--a company which uses peer-to-peer technology to deliver rich media, including video and software to a user's PC.

Trivia

  • The Guinness Book of Records credits Cuban with the "largest single e-commerce transaction," $40 million for his Gulfstream V jet in October 1999.[1]
  • Was in attendance at the 2003 WWE Survivor Series where he was involved in an altercation with performer Eric Bischoff. When Bischoff threatened to call security or physically escort Cuban out the building utilizing physical harm, Cuban shoved Bischoff, knocking him from his feet. When Cuban turned arround, he was R.K.O.-ed by wrestler Randy Orton, thus adding another individual to Orton's list of "Legend Killings".

External links