Arguably the most outspoken and unorthodox owner in the NBA is Mark Cuban. Ever since Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, the billionaire hasn’t stopped making news for all sorts of reasons from driving NBA commissioner David Stern crazy, an insider trading scandal to opinions about all things NBA.
Recently, Cuban talked about the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat and the universal hatred for LeBron James and company. Cuban believes the hatred for the Heat is good for the league and made an interesting comparison to one of the most storied franchises in the NFL in order to validate his point via Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com:
“They’re kind of in some respects the Oakland Raiders – and I know that’s going to get picked up everywhere. They’re kind of like the Oakland Raiders when they were winning. I don’t want to compare Micky [Arison] to Al Davis — that’s not fair — but you either love them or hate them.”
It’s hard to argue with Cuban’s point here. The Raiders definitely have one of the most passionate and dedicated fan bases in professional sports, win or lose, but also have the same kind of universal hatred like the Heat when the team is successful as they were back in the early part of 2000s.
Cuban may still be a bit bitter about losing to the Heat back in 2006 when Dallas was up 2-0 on Miami, but the Mavs were able to bounce back as underdogs against Dwyane Wade’s squad in 2011 winning the franchise first NBA title.
Regardless of the recent history between the Mavs and Heat, Cuban still makes a valid point with the Heat being considered the Raiders of the NBA. Although the comparison makes sense in a way in terms of Miami’s current situation, the Heat don’t have the same tradition, pride or loyal fan base when compared to the Raiders. LeBron and company still have a long way to go before being the same level as the Raiders in those three categories.