LeBron "Humiliated" Cleveland, Lost $1B, Says Cuban

Dallas Mavs owner says superstar had right to bolt, but bungled it

By Greg Wilson
|  Thursday, Sep 16, 2010  |  Updated 8:23 AM PDT
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Tech billionaire-turned NBA team owner Mark Cuban has an opinion on everything, and he's finally gotten around to giving his two cents on LeBron James' controversial escape from Cleveland.

In short, Cuban wishes the superstar brought his talents to the Dallas Mavericks and not South Beach, and thinks the whole televised "Decision" was "the largest public humiliation in the history of sports." Oh, and it cost LeBron somewhere around $1 billion.

"LeBron has every right to go wherever and do whatever, whatever team he wants to," Cuban told SportsRadio 1310 in Dallas. "Going to the Heat was his choice, those guys working together. I don't even have a problem with the three of them working together, as long as they follow all of the NBA rules, which I think they did."

Cuban was referring to James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all conspiring to play together for the Miami Heat, and how their plan was culminated by James' ESPN-televised announcement on .....

"Where I think LeBron made a mistake, was in how he did it." Cuban continued. "I don't even have a problem that he had the TV show. But it turned out to be the largest public humiliation in the history of sports. He humiliated the organization; he humiliated the state of Ohio, the city of Cleveland. All of a sudden he became a bad guy, he lost a billion dollars in brand equity, give or take a couple bucks here or there. ... '

"I told his folks that I think he got bad advice. It's not about 'Can he move?' He can move, he can play for any team. I think he picked the wrong team (chuckles). There's a team in Dallas that could have used him and that would have been better served but it's his choice. But the way he did it I thought was just a huge mistake."

James has already tweeted that he's keeping "mental notes" of everyone who criticized him over the departure from his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, so one assumes Cuban is the latest entry on his list.

Selected Reading: NBC Sports, ESPN, CNBC.

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