As the 2018 NFL season continues to unfold with more controversy on and off the field than ever before, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has weighed in on what he thinks are the major differences between the NFL and NBA.
Cuban has been outspoken in the past about the business of the NFL, and in 2014 even said, “The NFL is 10 years away from an implosion,” adding (via ESPN.com), “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way.”
In Cuban’s latest remarks on the NFL, he seems to expand on those comments going as far to say, “We (the NBA) are the only league where talent comes first, and that’s a critical distinction.”
“I hate to just keep banging on the NFL, but the saturation was a symptom of a bigger problem,” Cuban said, per The Boston Herald. “That’s when I said that pigs get fat, because you see how they handle controversy. They don’t know what to do, and the players can’t really deal with it.”
The Mavericks owner said the NBA’s primary advantage is that “personalities drive this game,” and the players have built their platforms with strong enough voices where they can fix any issues with the coaches, owners and commissioners before fans have a chance to react.
“(In the NBA) our players have a big enough voice that if we screw up, our players correct us,” Cuban said. “They can say what’s on their mind, and that has a bigger impact on how fans respond than what (commissioner) Adam Silver says or what I say.”
Another big advantage for the NBA compared to any other league, according to Cuban, is that fans know more players through platforms such as “NBA 2K,” the video game franchise by which fans can learn about all of the players. He also pointed to players, like LeBron James, who have built brands that affect the whole league.
“Kids play 2K, watch a game, watch TV; you know every player. That’s a huge advantage because our players have brands,” Cuban said. “Our players have platforms. Our players have voices. LeBron tweets, and more people see it than our politicians.”