Monday , Nov , 17 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Guilty or Innocent? Either way, Mark Cuban finished as Dallas’ owner

Commissioner Stern, the old guard of NBA owners, the referees, several players, coaches, and even Donald Trump are waiting to pounce on a weakened Cuban. They’ll either discredit their rival or isolate him. I don’t blame them. For several years, the renegade owner has overshadowed the on-court product, using his position as Dallas’ owner to become a reality television sideshow …


Guilty or Innocent? Either way, Mark Cuban finished as Dallas' ownerNBA news mixed with analysis …

Their News: Federal regulators have accused billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban of insider trading for allegedly using confidential information on a stock sale to avoid more than $750,000 in losses.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Cuban on Monday in federal court in Dallas. The agency said that in June 2004, Cuban was invited to get in on the coming stock offering by Mamma.com Inc. after he agreed to keep the information private.

The SEC said Cuban knew his stake — pegged at 600,000 shares, or 6 percent ownership in the company — would be sold below the current market price after learning that Mamma.com was raising money through a private investment in a public entity (also known as a PIPE). (ESPN news)

Our Quick Analysis: It doesn’t matter if Mark Cuban committed insider trading. The court of public opinion will find him guilty. And his enemies have their opportunity.

The knives are out. Commissioner Stern, the old guard of NBA owners, the referees, several players, coaches, and even Donald Trump are waiting to pounce on a weakened Cuban. They’ll either discredit their rival or isolate him.

I don’t blame them. For several years, the renegade owner has overshadowed the on-court product, using his position as Dallas’ owner to become a reality television sideshow.

Cuban’s antics would be forgiven if he ever exhibited grace and occasionally checked his ego. After all, billionaire owners should enjoy the perks that accompany their expensive toys.

But Cuban picked fights, called-out enemies through the media, and smirked at the television cameras. Fair or not, he is perceived as a bad loser and an even worse winner.

And the charges are particularly damaging in today’s climate. After the mortgage meltdown, the public is angry with wealthy individuals manipulating stocks at the expense of others. There will be no sympathy, only support for the government to pursue justice at all costs.

In fact, the amount is irrelevant, except when considering that a billionaire could allegedly be greedy enough to break the law and risk everything for less than a million dollars.

These charges could be the trigger that finally pushes Cuban to sell his Mavericks. At least going out on his terms would rob his enemies of their opportunity to get even. A last act of defiance, I guess.

What are your thoughts on Cuban? Will he sell the Mavericks? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog. Photo courtesy of The Paco.