Cuban has played an active role in developing the Mavericks to NBA championship contenders. His decisions have been the source of media attention and controversy. In the face of such attention, the Mavericks have experienced a turnaround and resurgence of the franchise. Unlike most owners who play more passive roles and watch basketball games from skyboxes, Cuban sits alongside fans in the crowd and wears team jerseys. Cuban is known for flying his private airplane, a Gulfstream Aerospace Gulfstream V to attend away games and for wearing Mavericks T-shirts and jerseys at games both at home and on the road. Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register said "He made the ultimate fan fantasy come true by buying and running a professional sports franchise and has been astoundingly good at it."
He has been fined by the NBA, mostly for critical statements about the league and referees, at least $1,665,000 for 13 incidents. In a June 30, 2006 interview, Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki said about Cuban, "He's got to learn how to control himself as well as the players do. We can't lose our temper all the time on the court or off the court, and I think he's got to learn that, too. He's got to improve in that area and not yell at the officials the whole game. I don't think that helps us.... He sits right there by our bench. I think it's a bit much. But we all told him this before. It's nothing new. The game starts, and he's already yelling at them. So he needs to know how to control himself a little."
In an interview with the Associated press, Cuban said that he matches NBA fines with charitable donations of equal amounts. In a nationally publicized incident, he criticized the league's manager of officials, Ed T. Rush saying that he, "wouldn't be able to manage a Dairy Queen." When Dairy Queen management took offense, Cuban worked for a day at a Dairy Queen in Coppell, Texas, where fans lined up in the street to get a Blizzard from the owner of the Mavericks.
Mavericks Ownership Change
In the 20 years before Cuban bought the team (and counting the year he closed the deal), the Mavs had a total W-L record of 644-964 (40.0%). In the six years following, the team has gone 340-152 (69.1%). His first season, the Mavs improved 13 games from the year before. In the six full years that Cuban has owned the team, they have reached the playoffs each season. Their playoff record before Cuban (20 seasons): 21-32. Playoff record with Cuban (six seasons): 39-40, including their first trip to the NBA Finals, which they lost to the Miami Heat in six games.
2003-04 NBA season: Cuban allowed Steve Nash to leave as a free agent after the season. Cuban refused to match a contract offer made by the Phoenix Suns to Nash. Playing for the Phoenix Suns, Nash was named the league MVP for the next two years.
2004-05 NBA season: Mavericks cut all-star guard/forward Michael Finley in a cost-saving move.
2005-06 NBA season: Cuban started a booing campaign when Finley returned later that year as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. In a playoff series between the Mavericks and Spurs, Cuban insulted San Antonio and its fans. In the same series, Cuban cursed Spurs forward Bruce Bowen. and was fined $200,000 by the NBA for rushing onto the court and criticizing NBA officials. After the 2006 NBA Finals, Cuban was fined $250,000 by the NBA for repeated misconduct following the Mavericks' loss to the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2006 NBA Finals.
2006-07 NBA season: On February 9, 2007, Cuban made some critical comments about NBA Finals MVP Dwyane Wade, misspelling his name, calling his commercials "boring", contending that Charles Barkley didn't want Wade in his "five" (it is actually the other way around), and implying that overweight teammates are his fault. He also said he would get fined if he made any comments about what he thought really happened in the 2006 NBA Finals. This was despite previously pledging that he would not make any further comments on the 2006 Finals.
Prior to his purchase of the Mavericks, Cuban co-founded Broadcast.com, the leading provider of multimedia and streaming on the Internet, in 1995, selling it to Yahoo! in July of 1999.
Before Broadcast.com, Cuban co-founded MicroSolutions, a leading National Systems Integrator, in 1983, and later sold it to CompuServe.