Cuban Says Heat As ‘Bad Guys’ Is Good

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DALLAS —
Villains is how Mark Cuban thinks fans still view the two-time champion Miami Heat, and that’s great for the NBA, he says.

The owner of the Dallas Mavericks on Friday compared the LeBron James-led Heat to the Oakland Raiders in their glory days — saying fans either love ‘em or hate ‘em, and that polarization makes for a far more intriguing league for fans, and heightens the competitive juices of rivals.

Cuban’s 2011 Mavs remain the lone team to beat Miami in the postseason since James took his talents to South Beach before the 2010-11 season.

“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.”

In 2011, the Mavs had the city of Cleveland and, seemingly, an entire nation behind them against the villainous Heat in their inaugural season as the Big Three, with James and Chris Bosh having joined Dwyane Wade through free agency. Basketball fans recoiled at James’ disastrous “The Decision” on ESPN when he infamously announced his departure from Cleveland for Miami. Fans who once worshiped James had turned fiercely against him and the Heat.

That wasn’t the case in 2006 when Shaquille O’Neal helped Wade win his first championship as the Heat rallied from a 2-0 hole to beat the Mavs in six games.

On Friday, Cuban made a rare appearance at the Mavs’ practice court. His visit came two days after having spent the previous two weeks fighting a different kind of court battle. On Wednesday Cuban was exonerated in a SEC insider trading case. Cuban said his attorney fees to fight the government’s charges were far greater than the fine he faced if found guilty.

“It wasn’t a maxed-out contract,” Cuban said, “but it was in shouting range.”

66 Comments

  1. jimbo says:

    I am not a Miami hater, but Cuban is correct. I am a true sports fan, I like to see hard work mesh with talent to mold a team into a title contender (like the Spurs). Buying top player(s) just because the owner is filthy rich is not my idea of sports. I hope LJ does take his talents to another team after 2014, thus effectively putting an end to any more championship appearances by Miami (at least for a few years).

  2. Bob says:

    “A confidence bordering on arrogance”. If you are LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, your have higher skill sets and mentally tough. That kind of confidence is something that you want to have on your team. It doesn’t make you arrogant; it makes you a winner.
    The old Oakland Raiders were an arrogant team. They said cheating was encouraged and, to this day, brag about their own greatness. The weren’t that great, like the Steelers or Niners were, and they always hung their losses on the league or referees.
    That comparison reveals character. Maybe, the Cubes wants to be Al Davis. It could be, he seems to ride worn out horses to the Derby and expects to win. I think he is “projecting.”

  3. Anon says:

    For people who are saying the nets have a chance. Lets be clear, the nets only have a chance at getting to the first round nothing more. People think with KG, and pierce etc. that they are the best, but they are not. Their starters are old and it will show mid way through the season. So the only teams that have a chance are Bulls and Pacers.

  4. Matt says:

    The Pacers only took the Heat to a 7 games series because of the last minute decision by the commissioner to allow Roy Hibbert to jump “vertically” and sit in the paint for the entire shot clock. Once normal officiating was reinstated in Game 7 we all saw what should have happened from the get go.

    The NBA doesn’t send out questionnaires to its fans on what match-ups we want to see in the playoffs for no reason. They use the officials to try and dictate the winner of certain series so they can create the best “match-ups” so in turn they can create more revenue. It’s not hard to see it while watching a game and the evidence is out there.

    The biggest impedance Miami can encounter is injuries and poor officiating.

    In The Paint, how is it exactly Miami took the easy way out? Every team in the league tries to acquire as much talent as possible and the right talent. Every championship team to have won a title has had a lot of talent. Name one championship team that’s won in the NBA that doesn’t have at least one or two Hall of Fame players or guys who have been multiple All-Stars/MVPs/DPOY/etc. This argument that Miami some how took the easy way is asinine and foolish at the very least.

  5. In The Paint says:

    Why do people say “no hate”? People can hate whoever they want. No shame in hating the Heat, they took the easy way to a championship. With that kind of talent, OF COURSE they should win. It’s EXPECTED. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join em” is LBJ’s motto. Bought a championship, not earned.

  6. Stephisbeast says:

    I honestly just can’t take someone who calls themselves a “king” in this time period seriously.

  7. bballfan says:

    I really don’t understand why the hate lebron movement is still around nowadays. Sure, I think that most people would have to agree that how he handled his move to Miami in regards to how it was publicized and how it was demonstrated in the media was highly questionable. Airing “the Decision” really just put a target on his back amongst the fans and the whole “not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, etc…” put a target on his back in and around the league overall. Perhaps, we can call him a sellout for having teamed up with two all stars in a team and a coward for not having pushed to gain it all himself. But wouldn’t the final results and the outcome matter most? Both CB’s and D Wade’s numbers have gone down since they came together. They play well together but its not like theyre a super team that outbalances everyone else’s talent in the league. Lebron has still carried much of the load, I dont see how anyone can argue against that, unless they havent been observing their bball well enough. The real difference is Lebron’s comfortability, and how much he can just focus on playing. Everyone who plays basketball or any sport would say that it is easiest to play when youre with teammates you can trust and can play comfortably with. It seems to me like their teaming up is fair game unless lebron haters really want to believe that other teams have nothing to contend against them.

  8. Warrior Don says:

    I think Cuban is dead wrong I don’t think the majority of NBA Fans hate the Heat they may hav not liked how the whole “decision” thing went down but to say the Heat are the Most hated team in the Nba “Right Now” is inaccurate I think the most hated team is the Lakers still even though they aren’t winning like they use to the Kobe Bryant & the Lakers fall into that u either love them or hate them category more than the heat

    • juggernaut584 says:

      I agree. Most fans who don’t like the Lakers don’t even have a favorite team. They just want to see L.A. lose, and even if they have a team, they are still happy when the Lakers lose to other teams. Your team didn’t do it so what are you so happy about? I call that haterism in the purest form. Even on this site when people post about their love for Lebron, they bring up their hate for Kobe when the article doesn’t even mention his name. I also agree with @Eh. These Heat fans were nowhere to be found when Miami had Steve Smith & Glen Rice in the 90′s, or Mourning and Tim Hardaway in the 00′s. Hell, they probably weren’t even fans when they won it on ’06; or especially during the post title-pre Lebron years from ’07-10. A bunch of bandwagoners and migrated Lebron fans who will leave Miami high and dry at the drop of a dime if Lebron skips town.

  9. Jim says:

    I hate Lebron and the Miami Heat because with them in the league MY favorite team and player can’t win a championship.

    I hate Lebron because he’s the greatest basketball player in the world and arguably the greatest athlete and he makes everyone else, including myself, look and feel like a weak pathetic shrimp.

    I hate Lebron because he’s defied the odds to be where he is and the world is supposed to crush people like him (ie: growing up fatherless and poor). Why is he so god damn successful?

    I hate Lebron because he is a multimillionaire, world famous, and the greatest in the world at what he does.

    ERRRRRRR!!!! I hate Lebron James. He is everything I am not. His success in life is a constant reminder of MY failure.

  10. deematthew14 says:

    ahah come on haters, the more u hate lebron, the more MVP’s and Championships he’ll get… it’s pretty simple, if u can’t beat him, join him..

  11. Jeremymichel says:

    The amount of comments on this just prove how right Mark Cuban is.

  12. Rhedz says:

    Well, The Heat have proven that they are a competitive team and can accomplish anything if they work hard…They deserve to be champions. Mark Cuban and the rest of the world can hate or love the Miami heat but the fact still stands..they are and still the reining champion.

    People say that LeBron is an arrogant, coward, selfish, boastful, Egoistic person..Then I guess they are right. Lebron is everything people think he is. And wether we like it or not its what makes him what he is now. We can hate him or like him..it wont matter..Not in a million years..Because this man is focused and set to reach the top and if he fails or succeed will be in history.

  13. richard says:

    Cuban is right on the mark The Heat, are the MOST OBNOXIOUS ARROGANT TEAM, MAYBE IN NBA HISTORY !!!!!! I hope they get beat this year. I LOVE TO SEE THEM LOSE 9TOO BAD IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO SATISFY ME) HATING THE HEAT IS A 24 X 7 X 365 DEAL !!!!!!!!

  14. gordan54/kpp#turn up says:

    The heat are the best for now, but they will eventually get a true challenge from either indiana or chicago, or the west.

  15. LBJFANS says:

    Who will stop the Heat?
    Bulls
    Pacer
    Or
    Brooklyn
    I dont see it.
    Dallas aint goin no where???

    • excuse me... says:

      pacers had them last year. with the addition of a healthy Danny Granger to last year’s playoff lineup, the Pacers have a might chance.

  16. Eh says:

    I don’t really have a problem with the team any more. Its just the fans. Seems like the entire fan base consists of trolls, fairweather fans, bandwaggoners, and people that genuinely just don’t know basketball but act arrogant to the point it seems they think they’re actually on the team. I know there have to be some real fans of the team who have rooted for them throughout the 00′s and even the 90′s. I really feel sorry for them.

    • Sma says:

      I really agree with you, just look at all the reactions coming from Heat fans.. I don’t really hate Bron nor the heat but al the fans are just so arrogant and a lot of them talk like they really don’t know basketball. It’s just sad their fans are mostly these kind of people.

      • K says:

        Their sports fans enjoying the moment what’s wrong with that, it doesn’t make them arrogant. It’s no different from any other team’s fans if their team is winning. So right now it’s the Miami Heat’s fans chance to rejoice over their teams success. Don’t mistake it for being arrogant. If it was your team you would have your chest all puffed out and talk n’ trash too. So since it bothers you so much when the Heat fans are doing it, be sure when your team (whom every that is) starts winning don’t rejoice, don’t be happy, don’t show any emotion just be humble and be that well informed sports fan that you spoke about.

  17. lakersfan4life says:

    I Wonder how many Championships Queen James would have if he wouldn’t move to the Heats, He could have gone else where with good players and win but his pure muscle body couldn’t win with the good players he had in Cleveland, he need it another 2 superstars to win. Wade and Bosh make’s him look’s better than every fan thinks he really is.

    • alp says:

      i wonder how many championships kobe would have won without shaq OR phil…..

      thats foolish talk your talking bro..

      • Tru baller7 says:

        Okay how many rings would jordan have without without phil or scottie, ummmm none so don’t talk about kobe

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      @ lakersfan4life

      …instead of hating on the reigning champion and MVP why don’t you worry about Kobe’s Achilles & the rest of the rinky dink pathetic Lakers

  18. Dave says:

    Keep the hate going
    the heat feed on that like a hungry bear eats fish
    Then I wonder,is it hate or jealousy that fuels these conversations
    i am willing to bet if the big three were on your team it would be a different conversation
    Go Pat Riley

    • LakeShow says:

      Definitely not, I am a Laker fan we had a big four and I hated every second Dwight had a Laker jersey on. If Lebron was on the Lakers they would still be my team but I would rather lose with Kobe then win with Lebron.

  19. David says:

    Yes, John, we Americans don’t know what rivalry is. I mean a sports rivalry makes no sense when someone isn’t killed or maimed, property isn’t damaged to show that we have no life but to prop up multimillionaires who still play kid games chasing a ball. We get our aggression out in REAL wars, so we can keep our prospective in sporting events. Isn’t that why the sperm count among European men has declined since WWII. Go fight a war, and get your sperm count up already!

  20. Drew says:

    i love you miami haters. i dont understand how you guys cant respect a team for winning back to back titles, thats not an easy feat no matter what, but you guys still talk about how flawed lebron or wade or bosh is…see you after the 3peat.

    • YoYo says:

      They hate cus the HEAT are killing their team chances of winning a title….HAHA

    • alp says:

      they hate because they know how close lebron is to jordan, he they have been hoping for lebron to fail since day 1, it just hasn’t happened the way these haters planned

    • nets says:

      it is easy when you have cHEATers like LeBron wade bosh Allen and a battier in your line up

      • SOmeone says:

        How are these players Cheats?
        They all played the game together on the same team. Does this make them cheats?

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        What are you talking about ? do you know anything about basketball at all???

        MJ – Pippen – Rodman – Kerr – Kukoc

        Kobe – Shaq / Kobe – Gasol – Bynum

        EVERY CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM HAS A TALENTED ROSTER- THATS AN OLD ARGUMENT!!! find something else to hate about

  21. Bird33 says:

    and insecure – stop biting your nails on the bench, Bron

    • Lebronjamesthebest says:

      HAHAHAAHAHAH lebron is insecure?! Pleads see the mans a beast and he knos it. Everyone has a habit he likes to bite his nails lol we are all human and he’s the best!!

      • LBJthaking says:

        yes Lebron is 250 pounds of pure muscle. Deal with that all you haters and he’s still getting better

  22. Bird33 says:

    LeBron is arrogant

    • alp says:

      he’s one of the most humble champions i’ve ever seen. whenever he wins MVP he gives his TEAM credit, he is a team player, we aren’t talking about kobe here buddy..

      • nets says:

        and it feels scripted well for me he’s not arrogant but a coward

      • realrapraw says:

        @nets hes a coward how?? becuase he dedicated 7 yrs to the cavs who were not able to get him enough help to win??. In 7 yrs they gave him a shaq who needed to be 4 yrs younger. A jamison who needed to be 4 yrs younger. A ROLE player in varjo and a slow big man in big z. but yet he stuck it out for 7 yrs not complaining once. And he didnt what everybody dreams of left to win a CHAMPIONSHIP. doesnt sound like a coward to me. A coward is leaving when things get tough.

      • djunsan says:

        “The Decision”… “not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7″ … yeah he’s real humble LOL

  23. john says:

    Cuban is right and everything but I have to write a little ssomething. You guys, the Americans… you don’t really know what rivalry means…for example you can check rivalries and hate for another team in south american football leagues…or in Europe as well…or Partizan Belgrade: Red Star Belgrade, where the police has to shut down the whole street in order to avoid collision of the opposing fans… So you guys, sitting in your couches don’t know a thing about rivalry.. in USA all is about money and how teams and league will purchase itself… The true competitive spirit is gone…at least according to fans :)

    • justsayin says:

      Yup you’re not a true fan unless you make sure a mother loses her son, or at least has to visit him in the hospital – because he wears the wrong team’s colors. You make me sick. The willingness to literally go to war over the most boring and overrated game on the planet actually makes you int’l soccer fans look like subhuman 3rd world morons, FYI.

      The real competitive spirit is about hard work, dedication, loyalty, and respectful sportsmanship set on equal ground – something most fans don’t learn from watching unless they’re keen observers.

      • kriss says:

        Woord up, im european, but im discusted with how the fans in italy, argentina, russia, behaves. voilence has nothing to do with sports, and fans are getting killed just because they grew up in an another city.

    • uhh no! says:

      First of all this is NBA.COM. This means BASKETBALL, the greatest sport in the word.

      Second, what are you taking about?! The US has the most competitive basketball league in the WORLD and everyone and their mother knows it! Or is it a mere coincidence that we absolutely kill at every world competition that we attend?

      Get off your high horse.

    • Ejavin says:

      We know what rivalry is we just don’t go that far, hurting someone. This is U.S. not other countries. Besides, it’s a sport!

    • djunsan says:

      LOL so we have to be basically uncivilized to “enjoy” a rivalry…

  24. don’t worry cuban…the heat won’t be reaching the finals this year lol

    • alp says:

      who will stop them?

      • nets says:

        the nets or the bulls or the pacers

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        @ alp
        the Nets or the Bulls could make a series interesting, but they are not beating the Heat The only team that has a 50/50 chance of upsetting the Heat would the Pacers, the Pacers give the Heat a lot of headaches. Especially on rebounding and defensive matchups..
        But they way the Heat look this year, you have to be just a pure heat-hater to not believe that they have the best chance at making it out of the East and 3 Peating.

      • djunsan says:

        You mean the Heat who barely won their last year? Maybe one 3-pt shot missed will suffice…

  25. Dizzly says:

    no one likes the mavs