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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cuban no Sterling, but …

Alan Greenwood

Before teeing off on the second-most socially unconscious owner in the NBA, a disclaimer:

Mark Cuban doesn’t particularly like newspapers, or the journalists who produce them. And that is one indisputable reason why I consider him a man whose wealth is infinitely greater than his worth. ...

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Before teeing off on the second-most socially unconscious owner in the NBA, a disclaimer:

Mark Cuban doesn’t particularly like newspapers, or the journalists who produce them. And that is one indisputable reason why I consider him a man whose wealth is infinitely greater than his worth.

That said, it is not unfair to peer 30 years down the road and see Cuban pulling a Donald Sterling. He already equals Sterling in the ability to dig himself a deeper ditch by offering a non-apologetic apology for saying something only a man who is tone-deaf to the sensitivities of others would say.

In answer to a question about Sterling, the bigoted octogenarian owner of the Los Angeles, Cuban told an interviewer that he doesn’t believe in silencing racists because “I’m the one guy who says don’t force the stupid people to be quiet – I want to know who the morons are.”

Fair enough. He also said that it is impossible to rid the NBA, or the world, of bigotry, and he declined to announce how he’d vote on the question of Sterling’s ouster from the league.

He still stood on fairly solid ground.

Then, Cuban stepped into the cowflaps.

“I know I’m prejudiced and I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways. If I see a black kid in a hoodie on my side of the street, I’ll move to the other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos, I’ll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts; we all live in glass houses.”

Naturally enough, more than a few folks thought of Trayvon Martin, the African-American young man who was shot dead in Florida for looking like he didn’t belong on the streets of a gated community. The man who shot Martin was able to hide behind Florida’s “stand your ground” law and acquitted on all charges.

Cuban later apologized to Martin’s family, but couldn’t step back without tweeting, “Beyond apologizing to the Martin family, I stand by the words and substance of the interview.’’

A clueless man, who will spend the rest of his days crossing back and forth from one side of the street to the other, depending the color of the people he sees and their wardrobe.

He is no Donald Sterling, but graceless aging may help Cuban catch up to him.

AS FOR THE REIGNING KING OF IGNORANCE: Someone must have successfully tugged on Sterling’s sleeve, and that of his wife, judging by their apparent disinclination to fight the NBA as the owners vote on whether to force them to sell the Clippers. Sterling will leave the league with lots of money, which means he’ll have more opportunities to woo more women young enough to be his grandchildren.

His estranged wife is likely to end up with more then enough money to get as far away from him as possible.

It would be no surprise to see her write a book on her time with Sterling, even if she has to wait years for his trip to that big plantation in the sky.

PANIC GRIPS HUB: As the Red Sox slogged way through their losing streak, the opportunity to offer fans two observations proved irresistible.

First, it might just be that this team is doing now what it was supposed to do last year. Relying on key contributions from the likes of Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Daniel Nava is unwise, to say the least.

Second, they have plenty of time to right themselves, particularly playing in the American League East, which is far from the powerhouse it used to be.

TIME TRAVEL: You know you’re getting old when 30 years ago seems like the day before yesterday. But on May 25, 11984, the Red Sox traded Dennis Eckersley to the Chicago Cubs for Bill Buckner.

Feel free to now insert some sort of snarky comment on how that deal worked out.

Also that day, Alvirne’s Steve Graves pitched a two-hitter to beat Manchester Central, 2-0, at Gill Stadium.

There’s another sign of an aging sports writer – kids you covered in high school are knocking on the door to middle age.

Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-6427 or agreenwood@nashuatelegraph.com. Also,
follow Greenwood on Twitter
(@Telegraph_AlanG).