Billionaire Brat Cuban Has Meltdown
While JCU-Grad Ref Keeps His Cool
When the NBA finals began, I said that the Mavs' idiot owner Mark Cuban was reason enough for me to root for Miami, even if the classier Dwayne Wade and Shaq didn't offer a more appealing story line, which they do. After all, character counts. And when the going gets rough, a person's true character tends to surface.
Sure enough, Cuban didn't let me down. Sunday night in game five, after his team melted down in the final seconds of overtime (taking their lead from Cuban's tiresome antics, I think), he went on a rampage . We saw the billionaire brat as he really is, saying whatever ugly thing came to his mind, just like Joe Sixpack in the stands.
The subject of much of his fury was referee Joe DeRosa, who was probably the coolest person in the building. I'll admit to a bias. DeRosa is a fellow John Carroll graduate, a guy who was just a year ahead of me in school. I never knew him at the time. But some years later, I did have occasion to meet him, while interviewing him and then watching him officiate a game for a profile I wrote of him in the John Carroll magazine I edited at the time.
I vividly recall him musing about the subject of game pressure during the interview in his hotel room a couple hours before gametime at the Washington arena. He said you have to just banish from your mind all the noise and the booing and even the possibility of making a crucial mistake that will be forever replayed on cable TV, and simply call them like you see them. And the other night, he did just that. Meanwhile, his officiating camp apparently had to get along without him.
Last night, the classier, more composed team won an NBA championship. The Heat took their cues from the cerebral, veteran coach Pat Riley, and the Mavs from their owner Cuban, who has all the self-discipline of an adolescent on a sugar high. Chalk one up for the adults.