Mark Cuban Rumors
Curry is one of the top endorsers of Under Armour products and, as the winner of the NBA Most Valuable Player award the past two seasons, has mostly shied about from taking a political stance on any issues. But Cuban acknowledged that it was a bold move by Curry. “I’m proud of Steph for standing up for what he believes in,” Cuban said. “It’s a tough situation for CEOs. “You want to make nice with the president because you’re a public company and you have shareholders, and it’s hard to balance doing the right financial thing versus doing what they think is the right thing, whatever your political beliefs are. It’s not an easy position to be in.”
There are plenty of cracks in the NBA’s economic model, and they will likely get deeper in the years to come. As Mark Cuban pointed out when talking about why the conference system should be changed, there’s less incentive for teams in the East to get better because the bar for making the playoffs and winning a series or two is much lower. Stern always said the balance of power between the conferences was cyclical, but the last two generations of players have not been able to change the underlying dynamic, and there’s no guarantee the next one does either. As long as the owners in the East keep making money off their teams, they have no reason to change the way they are run.
The NFL has accepted characters of all stripes over the years. But Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem last year, a personal form of protest, he said, against police brutality of African Americans and other minorities. His action was met with equal parts enthusiasm and outrage across the country, but the continued backlash he faces seems to say as much about the NFL as it does about the polarizing quarterback. “I don’t know what his status is in the NFL, but I’m glad the NBA doesn’t have a politician litmus test for our players,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. “I’d like to think we encourage our players to exercise their constitutional rights.”
That’s not a guiding philosophy in NBA circles. There are many reasons — NBA contracts offer more guarantees, for starters, and players might feel more job security — but star basketball players have taken the exact opposite tack in recent years. “The NBA is such a global game,” Cuban said in an email, “I think our players exposure to different political systems among their teammates may help them appreciate our country even more and encourage their participation.”
To say the least, it’s a team-friendly deal — chump change by today’s NBA standards. “Mark and I obviously have a close, close relationship,” Nowitzki said from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he is participating in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program and will play in NBA Africa Game 2017 on Saturday. “Last year, he really, really took care of me as we all know. That was well-documented.