He can’t advertise himself as the all-knowing owner and then not know when a team president is accused of sexual misconduct on several occasions. He can’t advertise himself as the all-knowing owner who, according to this report, has an office that sounds a lot like a frat house.
The problem is few of the details in this report are surprising. The culture outlined in the SI report is not endemic to the Mavericks. This is a pro sports issue.
Even if Cuban knew about Ussery, there is a better chance he just didn’t think anything of it. Because few men in his position did. Anywhere. For decades.
This excuses nothing.
Before we start a verbal lashing of Cuban, remember this: This is a nerd who bought a basketball team, partly as a means to hang out with the type of people who would have blown him off in high school.
A former Mavericks team employee once told me, “Mark likes players and coaches.”
Cuban is no different than any other sports owner who, despite their wealth, crave the validation from the cool crowd and from the good looking girls who would not give him the time of day as a teenager.
Money might not buy happiness, but it can buy attention.
The rest of us proletariat losers are disposable, easily replaced, and do not merit the type of attention as the cool kids.
Within the Mavericks, if something happened to an employee who wasn’t a coach or a player, it’s just not a priority.
When it comes specifically to Ussery’s treatment of staffers, former Star-Telegram Mavericks beat writer Richie Whitt reported that Ussery was investigated for office misconduct by previous owner Ross Perot Jr.
On his watch, the Mavericks made a lot of money. They won a lot of games, including an NBA title. Those were Mark’s priorities. In that order.
One thing Mavericks employees do not want to do is to bother Cuban because for all of his talk about focusing on his basketball team, this is a busy man with a lot on his to-do list.
There is a good chance the complaints about Ussery never made his desk.
Sneed’s transgressions were documented, but Cuban retained him with some provisions. The Mavericks owner liked Sneed and wanted to believe in him to keep him employed in a job that was not crushing to his overall payroll.
Cuban has said, “You can’t give up on people,” which fits with Sneed.
He knows the media game well enough to fall on swords, and to put a few “sensitivity training” courses in place that are worthless, but look good on a piece of paper.
Just send out this email: “Guys, don’t look at porn at work. Don’t send pictures of your junk to girls; they don’t want to see it. Treat women with respect, and not like a dog. If you can’t follow these strict codes of conduct, you’re fired.”
As a result of this story, and that of Carolina Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson, who is selling his team after allegations of sexual misconduct, also from SI, every pro sports team is scared to death that they're next.
They are. They just might not get busted.
Because the office culture described at the Dallas Mavericks is not new.
The outrage is.
So even if Cuban did not know, he knew. He just didn’t think anything of it.
Sadly, most men in this business knew and virtually none did a thing because we were afraid to lose our job, or threaten our relationship with the famous person.
Now Cuban must do something about it, and as a result, whatever hope he had of running for the White House is over.
The Dallas Mavericks played a nearly two-minute video paying tribute to the American flag and milestone moments in franchise history before the national anthem was sung for the season opener Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.