Mark Cuban has been the Dallas Mavericks owner since January 4, 2000. Cuban has seen the NBA evolve from the Michael Jordan era to today’s up-and-down showcase style, three-pointer-heavy game. He’s also seen LeBron James at his peak and understands his impact on the league.
Cuban appeared on the Heavy Live with Scoop B Show and discussed if he would pick Jordan or James in their prime to start a franchise with.
“Depends who else could I pick up. So, if it’s an expansion draft, I think Bron makes everybody on the team better, right? So he’s a good starting point,” Cuban said. “But if I got a good squad that I can put together, I want Michael as my closer. Not that LeBron’s not a good closer, but Michael’s the best. When that game’s on the line, I’d rather have MJ at this point.”
Jordan was a different player; his game almost single-handedly took the NBA to new horizons. But his greatness goes beyond his success on the court. Jordan’s timing was perfect; he transcended professional sports, made individual brands a thing, and made basketball a global phenomenon. Cuban also talked about what he learned from Jordan that impressed him the most.
“The way he treated people just in the bowels of the arena,” Cuban explained. “You know, the security guards and everything, how he got to be close to the... the fact that he put up with more s*** than I would’ve. I was surprised about like guys just taking off. That stuff with social media these days, that would not work the same way. Just the pressure would be completely different.
Back then you just had to deal with the local newspapers and maybe a little bit of ESPN, but ESPN wasn’t much of a thing then either relatively speaking. And so, I was just surprised how guys would take off. Because that would not fly because there would be pictures everywhere!”
MJ’s greatness, aura, his love for the game, his success, his body of work, his dominance, his legacy, what he meant to the culture, his brand, his impact, his vibe, his excellence, and what he meant to the game are all unmatched.
Cuban admires both players, but he recognizes that Jordan dominated the league more than anyone else could.