For those of you who aren’t into the stock market, shares and indexes, here’s a fun fact: for the first time in history, water will be traded on Wall Street. So maybe from now on, you should think twice before letting that golden liquid carelessly run in the shower.
But in September of 2017, when Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, people very much needed water. It was a Category 4 hurricane with 155-mph crushing winds that devastated this beautiful island country. And that’s when Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. (probably even his mother doesn’t call him by his name José Juan) Barea, Puerto Rican native, decided to help. But he wouldn’t be as effective if it wasn’t for his boss and hero of this story – Mark Cuban. Billionaire Maverick’s owner decided to lend Barea the team plane to fly water, food, and other supplies to Puerto Rico.
“Mark gave him our team plane. They loaded up a bunch of stuff, supplies, etc., to take over to Puerto Rico, and they’re going to turn around and come back. He’s going to take his mom and grandmother back with him, and my understanding is his dad is going to stay over there and slug it out with all of the recovery efforts.”Rick Carlisle, ESPN
Mutual respect between Barea and Cuban didn’t decline to this day. JJ was a Dallas member for 11 years; the only time he wasn’t a Maverick was from 2011 to 2014 when he was ballin’ at Minnesota. But coming into this year, Barea (36) didn’t catch many suitors for his services. Signals were suggesting that the Mavericks would release Barea and he would become a free agent.
Cuban was aware of that, and right before Barea hit the streets, he extended him to a one-year $2,56 million veteran’s minimum contract for his loyal services, Tim McMahon from ESPN reported. Cuban made the contract fully guaranteed before releasing him, ensuring J.J. gets all the $2,56 million. Barea can now search for a club as a free agent, and Cuban promised to find Barea a position in the Mavericks organization after the point guard decides to end his career.
If that doesn’t convince you that Cuban is one of the most likable NBA owners today, I don’t know what will. Yeah, OK, he may be a little obnoxious when he’s whining about referring; he may be loud and opinionated. But I would say it’s just passion. Don’t forget that the 62-year old tech mogul was the first among NBA owners to ensure that arena workers receive full compensation when the season was suspended. Or did you maybe forget how he helped Delonte West?
Cuban may be loud and loyal to his team to a fault, but you can’t deny him the good deeds. For that, he deserves praise.