In 2019, Zac and I interviewed Mark Cuban at the Old Monk for the 100th episode of our EarBurner podcast. It was a pretty good little chat. I think my favorite part was when Cuban himself brought up the time, many years ago, that he threatened to slice off part of my anatomy. (Listen at the 43:20 mark in the player below.) But in light of recent news, I dove back into the podcast this morning to see if he’d said anything about selling the team or, you know, about doing a deal with the devil to get himself a casino. Nope, not in there. In 2019, I don’t think anyone could have imagined he’d want to sell the team. But we did talk about Cuban possibly running for president. (Listen at 36:19.) Here’s the transcript:
TIM: Are you gonna run for president?
CUBAN: [quickly] No.
TIM: That’s a no for sure?
CUBAN: As of now. I’m never gonna say never, even for this cycle, but the definition of bad parenting, when you have three kids, 9, 12, and 15, in this environment, is running for president.
ZAC: Can you convince Howard Schultz not to run for president? Can you give him some kids?
CUBAN: I know Howard. I know him fairly well, or at least marginally well.
TIM: You just insulted one of Mark’s friends, Zac.
CUBAN: Trust me. If Howard thought he was gonna take votes away from someone and create a better environment for Donald Trump, he’s not gonna run, right?
ZAC: We’ll just have to visit him in his lair under Mount Saint Helens and say, “Please don’t—”
CUBAN: I think the fact that some people are worried about him running is more an indication of how little confidence they have for their side of the aisle, you know. I mean, because, look: hopefully the lesson of Donald Trump is we want to go away from the cult of personality to the cult of good ideas and solutions. Whether it’s Howard’s or Kamala Harris’ or, you know, Amy Klobuchar’s, whoever they are. Hopefully that’s what will drive it, and hopefully if we get to that point, then maybe I’ll reconsider.
See what happened there? Have we gotten to the point where the 2024 election will be driven by the cult of good ideas and solutions? If the answer is yes, then maybe Cuban has reconsidered.
Look, he’s not going to run for president. So that leaves all the other reasons for selling that we can, at this point, only speculate about.
Did Cuban lose his ass in crypto, causing a cash crunch that could be solved only by selling most of the team? Does he think streaming is about to upend the NBA’s revenue model, so he decided to take some of his chips off the table? Or is it really about those chips, and is Cuban climbing into bed with a huge Trump donor who thinks Tump should have his own book in the Bible, like Esther does—in other words, a member and enabler of the cult of personality—because Cuban has no scruples when it comes to getting in on the house odds when gambling comes to Texas?
I’ll bet you 5-to-1 I know the answer.