Now, to be fair, Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks could be both a great owner and an internet bully, but for the sake of this article, let’s try to narrow it down based on the most recent incident.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what happened:
On Friday, Bleacher Report tweeted something snarky about Dirk Nowitzki air-balling a wide open three-pointer.
Cuban got on Twitter and told Bleacher Report to delete their account.
It didn’t end there, as Cuban then emailed David Levy, the head of Turner, who owns Bleacher Report, and told him that he not only wanted that tweet removed, but that he wanted an apology as well. He did this in a series of profanity-laden emails that, to David Levy’s credit, didn’t spark a bigger, more vicious dialogue.
And Bleacher Report proceeded to do exactly as Cuban asked.
Now, I don’t want to get into the fact that Bleacher Report tucked their tail between their legs as soon as someone with money and power had something to say. That’s a story for a different day. What I am trying to figure out is whether Mark Cuban crossed into internet bully territory, or if he is just one of the best owners in sports, and this is an example to that effect.
There’s no doubt that Cuban and Nowitzki have a bond that you seldom see between owner and player. Without Dirk, the Mavs never would have won their only title, and Cuban would not have reaped the financial rewards of that victory. The fact that Cuban would jump to the defense of Dirk so vehemently is interesting, given the silly nature of the video in question that Bleacher Report posted. Threatening and bullying someone into issuing a retraction seems a bit of a stretch, however, the actual act of removing the tweet and issuing the apology was all Bleacher Report and their lack of backbone.
It’s almost like a baseball manager coming out of the dugout and getting into a dustup with an umpire over balls and strikes. Does it ultimately do anything? Probably not, but it does show the batter that the manager has his back and is willing to back him up no matter the situation. I think that this was very much the same kind of thing; it just got blown out of proportion because of Bleacher Report’s actions in response to Cuban. So I’m going to land on the side of the fence that says that Cuban was just being a good owner. He may have took it a little too far, but he wasn’t doing anything that a good owner shouldn’t do.