In a recent interview, Mark Cuban likened the Miami Heat to the Oakland Raiders. No, not the current day Raiders, the Raiders of the 1980’s who many fans hated. Cuban’s point is that hate is good for the overall well-being of a sports league. Nearly everyone outside of South Beach dislikes the Heat. After two straight titles, every team will be gunning for them in 2013-14 and Cuban is very okay with that:
“They’re kind of like the Oakland Raiders when they were winning. I don’t want to compare Mickey (Arison) to Al Davis, that’s not fair, but you either love them or hate them. That’s always good for the NBA when you have a team that everybody looks forward to beating. Like when we beat them, I would go to places I’ve never been and people would give me a standing ovation. That’s good for the NBA.”
I think a better example would be the New York Yankees. They’re a team that’s still relevant, that tons of people love to hate. But you don’t reach that level, without being good. Regardless of your opinion on the Heat, there’s no denying they’re a dang good team and that they’re in solid position to win yet another title this season. Everyone will be trying to take them down and that will drive up fan interest.
It’s a win-win situation for the NBA. You might not like Cuban because his antics are often over the top and his comments can be out of bounds, but the guy knows what’s good for business. Having a team like the Miami Heat, is clearly good for business.