Mark Cuban, the Ultimate Sports Fan

The Dallas Mavericks used to be one of the NBA's worst teams in the Association's history. In 1991, the Mavs only managed 11 wins in a single season. Next year was a slight improvement 13 victories. But apparently, things have changed since Mark Cuban, billionaire with a knack for technos and gizmos and the Web, took over in 2000. The Dallas Mavericks became one of the league's top dogs, a playoff contender each year. They even notched their first Finals appearance in 2006.

Cuban is the ultimate fan in the flesh. What separates him from other team owners is that he is willing to cheer his team from the front row instead of from a luxury suite. He yells not only at game officials for their bad calls, but even at his team and his players for bad plays. And maybe that's just it -- Cuban takes his quest for an NBA crown too personally. Too personal that he can fire anyone from his team on a short notice. The latest victim was head coach Avery Johnson.

Like the average fan from the stands, Cuban eats popcorn and hotdogs, shouts with joy and heckles opposing fans. But what makes him an ultimate is that he criticizes referees, the game officials, and the league itself with abandon and a disregard for fines and penalties. Last 2006, his fines reached a shocking $1.65 million for rude statements and wild antics on and off the court. But for someone who bought a $285 million stake in the Mavericks, this is perhaps only an insignificant amount.


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