Wednesday, June 21, 2006

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.


At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Said well! While Cuban is the "darling" in some circles, he is really the only reason I wanted the Heat to win.

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more, John.

Interesting sidenote about the Blue Streak grad.

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know that anyone who has their wedding vows changed to say "for richer or for richer" (O'Neal) makes a convincing argument for "classy," but I am satisfied that the Heat won. Primarily because of Dwyane Wade.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

I think Cuban's only a darling in the most boorish circles. But then that's me. And Sarah, good point about Shaq. When I said classy I of course had Wade far more in mind than Shaq. But then, Shaq seems to have almost continental manners, a quite gentility about him, compared to the loudmouth punk billionaire.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger KILROY_60 said...

Running about two weeks behind on these messages....Gonzo Guilt!

Included your site in a posting, "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Blogosphere"; I enjoy your work and look forward to visiting again.

Until then...

At 12:00 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, Kilroy/Gonzo. You have an interesting blog. And I especially admire the look of your writing nook.

At 2:26 PM, Blogger Jim Kukral said...

Consider me boorish then. This guy is real, in a world of fake rich people, he maintains his real self. Like it or not, he has that going for him. I relate, and admire his blog and attitude.

If I owned a team, I'd be hyped up too. That's real.

And he may make himself look like an idiot, but, you know, there can be worse things. I like looking like an idiot sometimes, it's fun.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Hey Jim: after your comment, I decided to go and read his blog a bit, for the first time. And I have to admit, I rather liked it. I liked the voice and the energy (didn't care for the plentiful typos, though). And of course if you like someone's blog, it's not much of a jump to liking the person themselves. So many thanks for adding your two cents.


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