The most common response to the news of a fined NBA player? That the $20,000 or so that they just lost is "spending money," or "pocket change." NBA players can't really come out and call it "gambling money," because that wouldn't look good, but that's exactly the phrase Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban used when he copped to losing around $200,000 on lagging Facebook stock recently.
Cuban, who is worth $2.3 billion, approached his losses with humor and wit in an interview with CNBC, admitting that he bought 150,000 shares of the stock at a price that totaled around $5 million and dumped his stake in the company as soon as it became obvious that the investment was a dud. Cuban, who made his millions through technology innovation but his billions through developing Internet startup companies, ended up losing close to $200,000 in the move. Or, about one-twentieth of the average NBA salary. From The Daily Mail:
'My thesis was wrong,' Cuban said in a CNBC interview. 'I thought we'd get a quick bounce just with some excitement about the stock. I was wrong, and when you're wrong you don't wait, you just get out. I took a beating and left.'
The Facebook stock is currently down nearly a fifth of its initial public offering price, even after a slight rebound (get it!) on Tuesday. The Daily Mail went on to remind us that Facebook's public plunge was the biggest money loser of any publicly traded company in the U.S. that was working over the $1 billion threshold in terms of overall worth. Cuban went on to blame the sheer amount of available Facebook stock as the reason for the company's failure in this realm, comparing it to LinkedIn's relatively tame and successful IPO from 2011.
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Cuban then went on to point out that, in his own inimitable fashion, he's having a little fun with his picking and public choosing. From the Daily Mail's recap of his interview with CNBC:
'It was gambling money, to be honest with you,' he said on Monday. 'Any time you try to time the market, you get what you deserve. Sometimes you're right. Sometimes you're wrong. This time I was wrong.'
Luckily not "Evan Eschmeyer"-wrong, in reference to the struggling center Cuban's Mavericks once signed to a six-year, $23 million dollar deal. That's some real dough, compared to Cuban's $200,000 Facebook hit — a reminder that, yes, this stuff really is pocket change, or even "gambling money," to some of our NBA friends.
And anytime Mark Cuban wants to gamble on helping me with my next car payment, he's more than welcome.
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