Pittsburgh Native Mark Cuban's Role In Dallas Mavericks' NBA Championship Demonstrates Newfound Maturity

The Trib has a good feature on Mark Cuban, the loud Dallas Mavericks owner whose team just won an NBA championship and who, by the way, grew up in Mt. Lebanon.

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"When he was up there saying that stuff about being happiest for Nowitzki and the Dallas fans ... I honestly believe there was a different sense of satisfaction than he would have had in 2006," said Jerry Katz, a childhood friend of Cuban's dating to Mt. Lebanon's Hoover Elementary School.

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"He's always been brash, but he's also always been very caring and sincere. More of that side of Mark came through this time around."

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There's nothing like a championship to improve a guy's public image, but Cuban has never been a villain to me. In fact, to Pirates fans, he's a bit of a folk hero. A few years ago, he indicated he was interested in buying the team. That was never going to happen, but a lot of Pirates fans wished it would, hoping he would boost their payroll. Could he have done to the Pirates what he did with the Mavericks? Probably not - Major League Baseball doesn't have a salary cap, so he would have probably run into the same problems Bob Nutting has now, not wanting to pour tens of millions of his own money into a team until it has the core of a contender in place. But it's fun to dream. Cuban once tried to purchase the Penguins too.

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Anyway, congratulations to one of Pittsburgh's own.

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