Recently, Cuban came out swinging against LeBron James and his Decision. The Mavericks owner didn?t criticize LeBron?s choice of having an hour-long TV special dedicated to his announcement, but he did call it "the largest public humiliation in the history of sports."
Cuban said LeBron had "every right" to sign with the Miami Heat, but scolded him for humiliating the Cavaliers and the state of Ohio.
Needless to say, Cuban?s being a little hyperbolic. In the history of sports? LeBron did hurt his reputation by leaving his home state, and the Cavaliers were humiliated (as evidenced by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert?s letter to their fans), but there?s a long list of embarrassment in sports that Cuban is ignoring.
For starters, he can look at himself ? a jersey-wearing cheerleader of an owner chirping at refs all night from his court-side seat isn?t just embarrassing, it?s sad.
It?s hard to say exactly what would fall under Cuban?s scope of "public humiliation," but one would think that the never-ending steroids saga in baseball would be in that category. Barry Bonds, for one, might take umbrage to Cuban?s statement.
Or, getting back to basketball, what about former NBA referee Tim Donaghy admitting in 2007 to betting on games that he officiated? That didn?t humiliate a team — it humiliated a whole sport.
And if we?re really talking about the history of sports, then let?s not forget the Black Sox scandal in 1919.
Sports are, unfortunately, ripe for scandal. Sports stars and organizations are always in the public eye, and the competitiveness of players, owners, and others involved in the industry lends itself to public embarrassment.
So while LeBron made a mistake by making too big of a deal about his move, Cuban was also mistaken in his assessment of The Decision. Sports organizations have much bigger issues to focus on than an ESPN special.
What are your thoughts on Cuban's statement?