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Cuban says Heat as villains is good for NBA business

Oct 18, 2013, 6:57 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game 7 Getty Images

The Miami Heat are polarizing. People love them or hate them. Detractors see an arrogant team that doesn’t maximize itself but just enough to win. Then there is LeBron James, who evokes the same love him or leave him emotions. Few fans inhabit the middle ground with Miami.

But the bottom line is everyone tunes in to watch them. Television ratings go up when they are on the screen.

Which makes the polarizing Heat good business for the NBA, something marketing master Mark Cuban gets. He’s taken his shots at the Heat before but in speaking with Jeff Caplan of Cuban clearly understands what is helping line his pocket. And Cuban likes things that line his pocket.

“With the two titles, they’re still like the bad guys,” Cuban said. “There’s a confidence bordering on arrogance that is good for them as a team and good for us as a league because it also makes them the team that everybody wants to knock off.

“They’re kind of in some respects the Oakland Raiders … when they were winning. I don’t want to compare [Heat owner] Mickey [Arison] to Al Davis, that’s not fair, but you either love them or hate them. That’s always good for the NBA when you have a team that everybody looks forward to beating. It’s just like when we beat them, I would go in places I’ve never been and people would give me a standing ovation. That’s good for the NBA.”

When the Raiders were winning? Damn that’s back when NWA was still together I think; that’s a long, long time ago. Also, Micky Arison, do not wear white jump suits, please.

Cuban is right. Parity works selling the NFL, but even there fans get pumped up to see if their team can knock off the Patriots — you want a shot at the consistently good, arrogant team with the pretty boy quarterback. I think the NBA is always more interesting when there is a dominant team to shoot for — the Bulls in the 1990s, the Lakers/Celtics in the 1980s and so on.

Right now, the Heat are the team on top of the mountain, and this may well be the season some team knocks them off that perch. But it’s more fun to have that target; it’s much better than having a champion that gets dismantled within a couple years of winning it all… we’re looking at you, Cuban.

  1. antistratfordian - Oct 18, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Kind of. Except the Heat are all filled with nice guys – true professionals – who sacrificed greatly to be where they are, and who work very well together as a team. All of them get along off the court and no one ever gets in trouble (Beasley notwithstanding). Certainly their Big 3 have become what we have always wanted of our superstars… to be selfless and to put the team first. They are the very image of what an ideal team should be.

    So the villain label doesn’t fit them well, just like it never fit LeBron well. But if that’s what other teams and fans need in order to get hyped to face them – then it’s all good.

    • eternallyill - Oct 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      Very well said

    • musician0785 - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:37 PM

      geez sounds like you’re in love…

      • musician0785 - Oct 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        if you’re gonna quote something, then give me a source otherwise leave your quotes for somebody who believes your bs

    • musician0785 - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      and this sacrifice stuff is nonsense, save maybe for ray allen the rest of the big 3 made about 100 mil a piece….what a sacrifice….

      • abxyer - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        Idiot…its not all about the money.
        They made less money with the Heat, even if total contract is over $100M each. But mostly, they sacrificed playing time, time with the ball, their role in the new team.

        Its not just one sacrifice the ENTIRE Heat team has made.

        I guess that’s why they are Back-to-Back Champs and heavily favored for its 3rd in a row.

      • musician0785 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        dwade bosh and lebron sacrificied playing time? lmaooooooooooo and secondly what sacrifices did birdman, or norris cole or mario chalmers make? please inform me

      • asimonetti88 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        Actually, they made more money. They knew the endorsement money that would come with teaming up would far outweigh the money they “gave up” on their playing contracts.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        They didn’t just sacrifice money, guy.

      • musician0785 - Oct 20, 2013 at 5:37 PM

        what did they sacrifice?

      • antistratfordian - Oct 21, 2013 at 4:07 AM

        Having a hard time figuring that one out?

        I’ll give you a hint. It has something to do with this quote from Wade about LeBron eclipsing 20,000 points: “He would’ve had it sooner if he didn’t decide to come down here to South Beach.”

      • musician0785 - Oct 21, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        the guy averages 28 a game for his career and is averaging 27 for the heat…..for a guy who’s pretty much scoring what is career scoring average was before he joined the heat, I cant see how he wouldve scored 20,000 sooner seeing double teams he doesnt see now because of wade and bosh…..yes i have a hard time figuring that one out

      • antistratfordian - Oct 21, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        James only averaged 27.8 PTS in Cleveland if you include his rookie season; from 2004-05 to 2009-10 he averaged 29.0 PTS.

        In LeBron’s last 3 seasons with the Cavs he averaged 29.4 PTS, 7.7 AST on 20.6 FGA.
        In LeBron’s first 3 seasons with the Heat he is averaging 26.9 PTS, 6.9 AST on 18.5 FGA.

        In his last three seasons with the Cavs he was putting up an average of 2270 points a season (2250, 2304, 2258). He put up 2036 points last season.

        That’s a big difference. Obviously he would’ve reached 20,000 points sooner in Cleveland. Sacrifice.

        Still having trouble?

      • musician0785 - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        with the cavs he averaged 28, stop tryna take time periods of time and divide them up to make the numbers look bigger……now with miami he averages 27….thats the bottom line….

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        Don’t be naive. Rookie LeBron is not the same as MVP LeBron. LeBron James as we know him (MVP, best player in the league) was averaging over 29 points a game in Cleveland for many years. That same guy in Miami is at 26.9.

        His Usage Percentage also dropped in Miami.

        This is common sense, buddy. He’s playing with Wade and Bosh now – but there’s still only one basketball.

      • musician0785 - Oct 22, 2013 at 5:26 PM

        averaging 28 is averaging 28….no matter how you try and define it……

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        Yeah, but MVP LeBron James didn’t average 28. MVP LeBron James averaged over 29 with multiple years where he averaged over 30.

        MVP LeBron James is the guy on the Heat who averaged 26.8 last year – well below what he would be averaging in Cleveland. If he stayed in Cleveland he would probably have 2 more scoring titles.

    • gmsingh123 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      “True professionals”? What, because they show up for games? You act like they’re taking time off from being executives at IBM to come and play basketball. You are a “true rocket scientist.”

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM

        Some of these guys think they’re still in school. They don’t act like pros who get paid to do a job – they act like kids with an enormous allowance – you get what I’m saying?

        Go to a Heat training camp, then go to a Pistons training camp. You’ll know what I mean by “true professionals” then.

  2. rickyspanish - Oct 18, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    I love Mark Cuban. I wish more owners were more unguarded like him. He’s honest even when it makes him look bad.

    • Anoesis - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      Which is most of the time.

  3. dls612 - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    A wise man once said “you need people like me! so say hello to the bad guys!”

  4. pistolpete0903 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:38 AM


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