I'm right there with Mark Cuban in my moodiness, throwing temper tantrums when a BDL Chat goes wrong or yelling obscenities at people I see texting and driving at the same time. But on record, if someone has a tape recorder in front of me and a deadline to attend to, I'd like to think I can keep my anger in check long enough to get out of a conversation properly.
(I'd also like to think I could find a way to not come off as frightened and as needlessly defensive as Cuban, freaking out in anticipation of where someone was going with something that I said about myself that might not be entirely true. Was that out loud?)
It's an entertaining column, and I feel a bit guilty for lifting so many of the quotes, but it really would behoove you to read the entire thing. Here's the meat of the Cuban and Eggers (that sounds delicious) back-and-forth:
I started the interview by asking Cuban if he knew what hit him.
"I got hit by something," he said, pleasantly enough. "All I know is the pretty lady next to me jumped, something hit me in my face and that was it."
Any idea what the object was?
Suddenly, Cuban's mood darkened to the color of the Dallas sky (tornado warnings) that afternoon.
"What the (expletive) does it matter?" he asked. "Does it make a damn bit of difference at this point?"
"Well, I …" I began.
"Does it make a damn bit of difference at this point?" Cuban repeated.
"You sound irritated by it," I said.
"Yeah, because it's a dumb-ass question," he said. "What's the point of bringing it up? Are you going to go find somebody? Are you going to hunt the person down? … Ask me a real question."
Gee, Mark, I thought that was a real question.
"The question turns into something antagonistic to somebody," he said. "Either you try to get me to accuse somebody of something …"
"I'm not trying to get you to accuse anybody of anything," I broke in. "I'm just trying to get the story on what happened in your words."
Mark later apologized to Eggers "for being a jerk," but not before he ranted a little more at what he called clichéd questions from the columnist.
Listen, clichéd questions are the worst. So are pat, clichéd answers from the people that either run or work for these teams, which is why I rarely use quotes in my analysis. And I wouldn't bat an eye had Mark gone off on Eggers for boring him with what Cuban called "cliché" and "repetitive" questions.
But these weren't examples of those. A Portland columnist was trying to get a better, first-hand take on something that happened in his town that could reflect poorly on his town, and Cuban strangely jumped the gun on him. I'll let you make the assumptions from there.
One thing we don't have to guess about? Mark Cuban's immaturity when things aren't going his team's way. I like Mark a lot, but he consistently showcases the worst of team fandom when his Mavs are coming off a loss. You won't come off as any less interesting, or work less creatively, if you just find a middle road between the W's and L's, Mark.
- Mark Cuban