Being the businessman that Mark Cuban is, sometimes he would like information directly from the public. The people in the big office chairs may not give credence to what the masses think. If they want to remove the most highly-regarded name in the history of television from an app they will, despite our objections, but they do still want the information. Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals is the NBA’s biggest game of the season to date, so as one of the league’s 30 franchise owners, Cuban decided to hold an impromptu focus group about pirated streams.
Cuban went to the social media platform with the most robust NBA conversation — Twitter — and decided to directly ask the users if they were using an alternative source to watch the Miami Heat defeat the Boston Celtics 103-84 on Sunday night.
The result was the owner of the Dallas Mavericks being given a new nickname — Narc Cuban. Only if he was wearing a Mavericks uniform and assigned to defend the basket during a game would he have been dunked on with more consistency and voracity. Actually, what happened on Twitter would still be worse. At least during a game he could tackle a player in mid-air and get ejected.
There is no way to stop the memes of him being a ham-handed informant. I should have made one with Cuban’s face on that trash can in the car insurance commercial about the poor undercover agent.
Maybe Cuban has been curious about this subject for a while. He is as much of an NBA fan as those of us who didn’t side-step out of the dot-com bubble at the perfect time. Cuban might simply want to know all of the ways that fans are accessing the game these days.
Or maybe his cable went out. If YouTube TV can malfunction for viewers of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals nationwide, then there certainly could have been a malfunction at his palatial estate. At that point, he would be just another NBA fan scrambling to find a way to view an important game. It happened to me during Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. Being that I wasn’t an NBA owner at that time, I could treat the downtown connector in Atlanta like a Grand Prix to get to a bar and enjoy the game in anonymity.
There is also the possibility that Cuban was using this question to get the Elon blue checks to reveal the sources of unauthorized NBA streams. Thus allowing him and his billionaire brethren to do what they did to the NBA Streams subreddit in 2019, saddening broke fans of the league across the globe by getting it shut down.
Only Cuban knows his motivations. Being that he is an NBA franchise owner, I doubt that he has a favorable opinion of the ways that unlicensed servers distribute the televised product. I also highly doubt that the NBA is counting on a question that Cuban posed on Twitter to be what swings the battle against pirate streams in their favor. If that is the best that the league’s legal team can do, then how has no one challenged the existence of the NBA Draft, age eligibility, or the salary cap and won yet?
What is indisputably true about Cuban’s inquiry is that it provided an excellent opportunity for NBA fans to dunk on a billionaire. That group goes through great effort to suppress the free market when it comes to player salaries, fight with television providers and the result is fewer people having access to their local team’s games, and reward referees for making the game about themselves.
Fortunately, it has proved impossible to ruin a product as great as the NBA, but that fact doesn’t stop the powers that be from trying. So anytime that one of them wants to offer themselves as tribute to the fans, we are here to roast that person like a s’more.