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Listening, learning from the 1 percenters

By admin Published: June 20, 2006

I realize he's controversial and often a whipping boy, but I have to say quite often I find myself in agreement and sometimes in awe in what Mark Cuban has to say.  Yes, his views are usually self-righteous and pompous.  Yet eliminating that fluff, his perspective on the media and his big picture viewpoint, in my opinion, are often well thought out.  I'm not talking about his rants at the officials or the NBA.  I'm talking about his principals, such as being "right is its own defense."

Cuban has lots of money and his made it himself doing things he believes in, which is reason why he's so confident.  He's in the basketball business, the movie business, the cable TV business, and he's getting into the media business and believes he's an expert in all of them, which rubs people in those fields the wrong way.  His attitude has certainly pained media members over the years.

Which brings me to another really rich guy that I know a little better, Dan Gilbert.  I think Gilbert and Cuban are a lot alike.  Not in their personalities, more in the way they aren't afraid to do what they believe in regardless of what anyone else thinks or what the standards say.  Peel everything else away, especially the annoying details, and that is something to admire.  Probably why these guys have made themselves into what they have.

During the playoffs, I spent a day with Gilbert at Quicken Loans HQ outside Detroit.  I don't agree with every way he runs his business.  I think he simply treats his employees the way elementary school teachers do their pupils.  He uses bright colors, positive energy, and simplistic motivation techniques to get them to achieve goals.  Guess what, for the most part it really, really works in that field and that makes him a genius, a rich genius.  Like Cuban's principles, my favorite of Gilbert's is that "what is right is more important than who is right."

Gilbert presents that mantra in a colorful little book he gives to all his employees and then reads it to them like they're in kindergarten.  I choose to dislike that part of his strategy, but I mean think about that, of how all of us professionals would be better off and our working environs better if that simple idea was followed.

Hey, I'm not saying these guys are smarter than Warren Buffett, but I'm saying that if you look and listen there's substantive stuff to be gained.

Sunday Column and power of jumpsites

Sunday I did a story about the Cavs draft process in case you missed it.  It is hard to separate these PG prospects.  I'm not sure the Cavs are in love with any of them, but I can tell you they are hopeful.  More to come.

Also, in that column I had two league notes that seemed to cause quite a stir.  I wrote that the Jazz were talking to the Grizzlies about Carlos Boozer and the Philly 76ers ownership had a meeting recently where the conclusion was reached that his team needed to rebuilt and a trade of Allen Iverson was to be explored.

These weren't items I was looking for, just what I came cross in conversations with league officials I'd had over the last week.  This happens sometimes, a beat writer not directly seeking information comes across a juicy nugget or two like this.  Based on the sources and how they told me they got the information, I deemed both to be credible enough to put in the paper.

Both notes made it on to Hoopshype and InsideHoops, which as I've written before here, are pretty much the websites that EVERYONE in the NBA reads.  The reporters who know what they're doing read it, the agents read it, GMs or at least some people in every front office read it and some players do as well.  I cannot overstate the power of these sites and how they affect coverage in the NBA.  All they do is cobble together links from NBA stories but how they pick out information and where they present it directly affects perceptions in the league.

So both the Philly News and the Deseret Morning News followed up on my story.  Just as I've followed up on Cavs notes written by other writers in the past and I'm sure I will in the future.  The point is, if you're and NBA fan who wants all the news, go there everyday year round.  Also, I can't more highly recommend two great NBA blogs, which offer a totally different viewpoint and series of links, in Truehoop and YaySports.      

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