Mark Cuban pays it forward

“These people depend upon tips for a living!”

-Charles Grodin as Jonathan Mardukas in Midnight Run


I tend bar for a living, which is exactly what makes this next story so enjoyable to write.

As a server, there’s nothing more gratifying than receiving a generous tip after providing excellent service, which by the way, is the only kind of service I provide.  On the other hand, there’s nothing more frustrating than getting stiffed after refilling some douchebag’s tonic water six times over when you’re weeded.

Well, the staff of the Fontainebleu’s Liv night club in Miami Beach all went home with smiling faces the night they waited on Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, hours after he won his first ever NBA championship.  Even if these servers were true blue Heat fans, they were definitely Dallas fans for the night.

After the final buzzer sounded and all the post-game press conferences were complete, Cuban decided to take his team to one of South Beach’s hottest nightclubs where he reportedly dropped, count ‘em, $90,000.  He also left a $20,000 tip.  That’s 22% for those of you without tip calculators.

Dios mio!

That’s exactly why many of us have become so fond of the outspoken Mavericks owner and why Major League Baseball inexplicably denies him entry into their stuffy cadre of proprietors.  Cuban is a hands-on owner who’s genuinely more interested in winning than turning a profit, a novel concept which professional sports could use a lot more of.  Considering the Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly unable to make payroll this month, you’d think a guy like Cuban would provide a breath of fresh air in a sport that so desperately needs it.

For the record, Cuban also agreed to pay for his city’s entire celebration parade.  It’s good to be the king.

Cuban’s notorious for pampering his players, staying loyal to them and providing them with the best workout facilities in all of professional sports, in essence making him the anti-Steinbrenner.  Basically, he’s the kind of boss you want.

We’ve all heard horror stories about how athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are lousy tippers.  For most of us, twenty grand is a car, a down payment on a house, yet it’s a drop in the bucket for Cuban on a once-in-a-lifetime evening whose gesture was an earnest effort to pay it forward.  It’s something that wait staff will be talking about for the rest of their lives.

So for those of you who have bashed him in the past for being brash, you may want to reconsider your stance, unless of course you’re a poor tipper yourself.  If that’s the case, I’ll have someone else wait on you.

37 thoughts on “Mark Cuban pays it forward

  1. Pingback: Mark Cuban pays it forward, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Mark Cuban is a class act all the way, if only because he pisses off Reichsführer Stern. MLB has its collective head in the sand by denying Cuban team ownership. We know he wants to buy the Cubs or the Pirates and he could turn either of those teams around. I’m sure that there must be some unkind words passing back and forth between Stern and Bud Lite Selig regarding Cuban.

  3. Chris

    For a guy who’s worth in excess of $2.5 billion I think $90 k is a simple drop in the ocean ! I’m surprised he didn’t do an Oprah and buy everyone in attendance a Mercedes SL 350 ?

    So what’d you think will happen with Dwight ? A sign and trade deal ? Or he’ll choose to stay with the Magic ? If he remains they won’t be winning anytime soon . Like I said Smith has effed up big time with those asinine deals .

    tophatal ………….

  4. I wish they would’ve allowed Cuban to buy the Cubs, they may have finally gotten off the schnide.
    As for tipping, I rarely hit the 22% you mentioned, but I could do it for a friend. Just let me know where you’re bartending and make sure that you’ve got plenty of Pabst Blue Ribbon on hand.
    Cheers!

  5. You ever watch the “Shark Tank”? Cuban and some of his rich buddies decide whether they want to invest in someones idea or not. Anyways after watching that show I liked Cuban a lot more. I hope he buys the A’s!

  6. Snake…

    Back in the day, Stern was the coolest guy around, even when he sported that guido mustache. He really did a ton for the sport. Sure, he had the athletes in his league to do so, but you can’t argue he didn’t market them well.

    These days though, I’ll agree he’s become a little Napoleonic.

    But I will say this. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone else running the league. We might want to be careful what we wish for in his successor.

  7. Al…

    There’s been talk of Cuban going outside the box by getting his team not championship rings, but championship something else. I loved Carlisle’s response to that. He said something along the line of “You gotta go with rings. NBA Championship rings make you a made guy.”

    Re: Dwight, it’s all speculation at this point. If the right offer is out there, he’ll go. If the Magic are somehow able to get another star or two to come to Central Florida, he’ll stay.

  8. Aer…

    Unfortunately my place is a little more upscale. We don’t carry the PBR, but I’m sure I can get them to special order some.

    Tall boys, I’m assuming?

  9. Chap…

    I haven’t seen that show. I’ll have to put it on my reality show watch list, which would make it the only show ON that list.

    Tell Cuban, the SportsChump URL is NOT for sale. I cannot be bought.

    Wait, who are we kidding? EARLY RETIREMENT, HERE I COME!!!

  10. HAHAHA! It’s a reality show, but it’s pretty serious at the same time as they hand out over a million to some people with really good ideas for just a stake in the company. I think Cuban started with some internet company, so maybe he’ll make the Sportschump into a million dollar company, then you can be the one giving the big tips!

  11. Chap…

    The impressive thing about Cuban is that he really knows his basketball. I know he hands over the reigns to Donnie’s kid but there’s not a move made without his blessing.

  12. The Duke! Charles Grodin has never been better.

    As for Cubes…I couldn’t be happier for him. Didn’t say a word during the playoffs, took the attention off of himself and his team won it all.

  13. Great read! Now we need to bring the fine Mr Cuban & his friends to Mangroves in Tampa (on a nite when the BEST bartender is working of course! How about Karaoke Wednesdays!! 🙂 )

  14. Yes.. Please buy the A’s Cuban! Rip the team from our pathetic dipsh!t owners who hate our city and its residents.. Its like Major League over here. Our owners are just cashing paychecks rooting for our team to fail so they can move them to San Jose.. Sad sack of owners nowadays.

  15. Chris,

    Living in a service oriented town, I can appreciate Mark Cuban. He won’t be stereotyped for sure. Good service needs to be rewarded. Even average service deserves 15%.

    Some people have no clue when it comes to proper etiquette and dealing with gratuity. Take Lefty Mickelson for example. Either he feels a sense of entitlement or he’s downright stupid. He banged a mid six-figure future on the Ravens to win the 2000 Super Bowl. Collected from a Strip sportsbook, and gave the clerks ‘air’. Documented.

  16. Drew…

    Midnight Run has to be one of my all-time favorite comedies. Definitely one I’ve viewed fifty plus times.

    I’m actually surprised Cuban was able to hold his tongue for that long. He’s having the last laugh now though.

  17. Well said, Chuck.

    As you can see, that’s the sentiment from fans of any team who’s owners are either entirely incompetent or who prioritize making a quick buck over winning. Personally I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.

    Don’t worry, friend. You are not alone.

  18. Pingback: Sports Chump » Mark Cuban pays it forward | | The Mavericks StoreThe Mavericks Store

  19. Chris

    So what you’re saying is that you have implicit faith that GM Otis Smith and CEO Bob Vander Weide can bring a couple of stars to O Town ? Perhaps we can get the Three Wise Men to follow as well eh ? It ain’t happening because the Magic hasn’t got the money or the wherewithal to pull off such a deal . That front office is filled with idiots !

    There’s been a sighting of Tiger Woods ….. oh no my bad it was actually Rory McIlroy ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    tophatal ………

  20. Cuban will be buying something but it won’t be the A’s for that matter ! It’s going to be a truck load of tam__ons for LeBron !

  21. Al…

    I’m thinking that would be Dwight’s job, which it should have been in the first place.

    A lot also depends on the new CBA and what teams might be allowed to do to get rid of weighty contracts they shouldn’t have signed, i.e., Gilbert Arenas.

  22. As a former waiter, I give Cuban a cigar for not being a tightwad…

    As a disgruntled Dodgers fan, I’m seriously re-thinking my anti-Cuban ownership stance since Frank McDork is a such a complete embarrassment…

    Then the visual comes to me.

    I don’t know if I could handle him sitting in the dugout, rocking Dodgers gear and running out to homeplate to high five Matt Kemp after he hits a dinger.

  23. Cuban is the picture of the normal sports fan becoming extremely wealthy and refusing to get into step with the rest of the cork-up-the-butt billionare CEO types.

  24. Chris

    Hindsight is 20/20 but even Stevie Wonder could see that this bi#$h was going to end in disaster !

    How is it that with a 53/47 split in the players’ favor these morons can’t work something out ? Oh I know , all of a sudden the executive committee of the NBPA think that they’re on par with their counterparts in the NFLPA .

    If they can’t split a little over $3.75 billion equitably then what does that say about the NBA much less the NFL as a whole ? Are they any brighter than the members of Congress and the Obama administration as they continue to squabble about the national debt and budget deficits ?

    tophatal …………….

  25. I just hope he didn’t get any flash-back spray all over that thing…

    Those pics are friggin halarious. Not his wife sitting beside him but the trophy. CLASSIC He scored some serious MANCARD points with that one. He has to take a wiz but he still has bonding to do with the much coveted hardware. I might have chosen the stall so to avoid the ricochet.

  26. Chris

    Government involvement ? What on earth could you mean ? Were you not happy to see you hard earned tax dollars being put to good use bailing out the banks and automotive industry ?

    Now we’ve got Ford saying that they’re back to profitability but little has been made of the fact that they’ve defrauded many of their dealerships out of $2 billion of which they’ve since been fined that some in monetary damages in the Federal Courts . What’s not to like about that ?

    So if Jack Nicholson and his Hollywood A Lister buddies get together and launch a bid for the Dodgers will you be signing on a minority stake holder in that consortium ? I hear that Dyan Cannon’s daughter has become a real sport’s groupie following in her mom’s footsteps ? By the way she’s way hotter than her mom !

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