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Mark Cuban expects openly gay NBA player in “3 to 5 years”

Dec 19, 2011, 11:43 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is shown on the court before the start of play between the Mavericks and the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Dallas Reuters

How would an openly gay NBA player be received in the NBA?

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, in an interview with TMZ said he expects it to happen within the next three to five years (via USA Today and SLAM)

“I think it will be more of a media sensation when someone comes out than it will be a player issue.”

That player, when he comes out, is going to have to be willing to be in the spotlight for cultural issues and not just a basketball player. There will be some hate thrown his way from the stands and a few players, but the bigger distraction likely will be interviews before and after every game and a lot of off-the-court demands for time.

As for the locker room reaction, while there may be a few who speak ill, I think the reaction of most players will be that of most people when they learn someone they know is gay — “He’s gay? I had no idea. Cool guy, doesn’t really change what I think of him.” And in this case, if the guy can help a team win on the court the vast majority of players will accept him almost instantly. That said, it will change locker room language, where a gay slur is commonly thrown around as an insult. That is starting to change, the pace would pick up much faster.

Attitudes are changed because some players may not realize they know a gay person and when they find out they do they understand said person is no different than they are in almost every way. They accept them as a player and person. It’s how change is made, not with broad sweeping gestures but one person at a time.

  1. kyleortonsarm - Dec 19, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    That seems odd coming from a closeted gay NBA owner.

    • santolonius - Dec 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      cuban is gay? i had no idea. cool guy though. it doesn’t change my opinion of him.

      • nightwalker43 - Dec 19, 2011 at 1:52 PM

        Touche

  2. sunsation3413 - Dec 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Cuban is not gay…married with children.

    • kyleortonsarm - Dec 19, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      Yeah I guess that never really happens. Except you know, Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Bob Allen and Glenn Murphy Jr. to name a few.

  3. jimbroney - Dec 19, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Is that a scientific forecast? Where did he crunch the numbers to come up with 3-5?

  4. klownboy - Dec 19, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    I don’t see it. Sorry…

  5. goforthanddie - Dec 19, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    You might, but the guy won’t come out on purpose. Locker rooms are the last bastion of ignorance when it comes to gay.

    • mytthor - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:57 AM

      Last bastion? Unfortunately not.

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 19, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    I’m going to start a pool. Get 100 friends, each put in $100. With Facebook, the pool could could get even bigger. Start drafting. 1st to have a player come out wins. Any thoughts on who the first pick would be?

    • ricofoy - Dec 19, 2011 at 9:15 PM

      Ricky Rubio

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:35 AM

      LOL!

      Dwayne Wade

  7. chicagofan - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Why is this important ? are openly gay players go to raise the level of competition in the NBA the way black players did?… I doubt it. Keep your sexuality to yourself/private.

  8. max20characters - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    @1972wasalongtimeago: LeBron’s hair line.

  9. slipperyjohnson - Dec 25, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Bosh came out…

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