Exclusive: Mark Cuban Ready To Turn Attention From Politics To Mavs Camp

'I am so ready to get to Mavs training camp and be past this,’’ Mavs owner Mark Cuban tells me of his involvement in the Clinton-vs.-Trump Presidential campaign. “But some things are bigger than sports.’'

I don’t often express my political views via social media, because for me, my heart-felt thoughts are generally best-expressed in the privacy of the voter’s booth and not in the argumentative cesspool that is social media.

That’s a choice that is important to me, and I believe with conviction that your choice is equally important.

So whether you agree with Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s very public support of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton or his very public criticisms of presidential candidate Donald Trump, or whether you understand Dirk Nowitzki's coming involvement in National Anthem-related civil-rights activism - that story here), I hope you will agree with me on Cuban's right to shout his opinions from his high-profile rooftop.

At the same time, Cuban himself knows that you agree with me on something else: You want to make sure the owner and de facto general manager of the Dallas Mavericks is also focused on basketball.

So I asked him.

“I am so ready to get to Mavs training camp and be past this,’’ Cuban told me. “But some things are bigger than sports.’'

Cuban has always been a multi-tasker at a high level; the last time I checked, he was involved dozens and maybe hundreds of businesses, with the Mavs as Business No. 1. He and I have also discussed how much any serious dive into politics would take away from his commitment to being a husband and a father; this campaign season, featuring Clinton vs. Donald Trump in a controversial campaign for President, is, I believe, his first foray into this particular arena and may be his last. (No, I don't believe he has plans to run for such an office himself.) And as I write this, I know his sleeves are rolled up and into the work of the Mavericks in most every way, including being able to rattle off scouting reports on all 20 of his training-camp participants and getting the new Mavs training facility up and running as soon as possible.

Selfishly, we as Mavs fans want his focus to be singular; I was among those who busted his chops a few years ago when he was starting his TV star turn on "Shark Tank'' while Deron Williams was being unsuccessfully recruited in free agency. But we also want leadership that has — using the term I used with Cuban in my conversation — “a hunger for knowledge.’’ That’s why I wish Mr. Trump would not only accept Cuban’s $10 million challenge but would also “pass the test.’’ And for that matter, I’d be interested in the same exercise with Ms. Clinton.

Why? Because it would exhibit a “hunger for knowledge’’ along with some successful consumption of it.

Cuban agrees with me there.

“It’s critical,’’ he told me of this “hunger for knowledge'' than I know he possesses. He cares about the state of the union as well as about the state the basketball team. The same thing that drives him passionately down one path drives him passionately down another, and another, and another.

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Cuban also knew all along that Trump was going to ignore his offer, and having appeared on the campaign trail for Clinton, moved on quickly to be in the front row for Monday's nationally-televised debate between the candidates. And soon -- Nov. 9 -- then there will be an election and there will be a winner and we will all attempt to move forward cooperatively. (I have my doubt there, but I can dream, can’t I?)

And then Cuban will, he promises, be fully into basketball and “past this.’'

Until then? Citizen Cuban and Owner Cuban are doing what they think is best.


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