When NBA superstar John Amaechi announced he was gay, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban got in the game.
Cubes told the Fort Worth-Star Telegram that any basketball player who comes out in 2007 should do so — because if they did, they’d able to cash in. And the idiot who scoffs at gay b-ballers had better watch their back.
Then retired player Tim Hardaway kept it real — really homophobic.
With shocking candor, Hardaway told a Miami radio interviewer that he “hates” gay people. And before you could scream, “Michael Richards in rehab!” Hardaway delivered a half-assed apology.
When asked about Hardaway, Cuban told The Dallas Morning News, “What the hell was he thinking?”
Cuban is fairly accessible via e-mail. Earlier this week, I dispatched four questions. Cuban responded in less than five minutes.
Play devil’s advocate: As a modern-thinking team owner, name one thing Tim Hardaway could start doing to save himself.
CUBAN: Donate 10 hours a week for a year to a local community center or organization that focuses on gay and lesbian issues.
Your comments about urging pro basketballers to come out echoed around the world. Have you completely ignored any negative feedback? Have you heard any rumblings of discomfort from corporate sponsors or fans?
CUBAN: I heard from a couple weirdoes that called me a “sissy” and some other choice names. But so what? I’ve heard worse.
Without naming names, how good is your gaydar? Can you say whether or not any Mavs players are or have been gay — but just not out?
CUBAN: [My gaydar is] not as good as it used to be when I would go dancing with friends at The Village Station on Wednesday nights. So I don’t know if we have had any gay or bi players.
With you’re reaction to Hardaway’s comments, you’ve officially been knighted as a hero to the gay community. Any chance the Mavs — or at least the ManiAACs [the Mav’s corpulent all-male dance team] — will be a presence at Dallas’ gay pride weekend: Sept. 23, 2007?
CUBAN: I don’t know if we've been asked. Anything is possible.
Next home game: The Dallas Mavericks play the Miami Heat Feb. 22 at 8:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. Tickets start at $9. Mavs.com