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Why not create Mark Cuban clones to boo officials?

Owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks plans to invest in business ventures with people who responded to his blog.

February 19, 2009|Barry Stavro

Never shy, the blogger called his entry "the Mark Cuban Stimulus Plan."

For many sports fans, Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is a real-life cartoon character.

He sits behind the Mavericks bench and leans in during timeouts, gets into arguments with players and fans, and seems to draw as many NBA fines as Rasheed Wallace does technical fouls.

But Cuban is money smart. In 1999, he sold his Internet video firm just before the bust to Yahoo for $5.7 billion.

Last week on, Cuban wrote that he wants to help jump-start the economy by investing in small businesses "to get the ball rolling and create jobs." Cuban invited readers to e-mail their business plans and said that if he liked their idea, he'd invest in it.

His blog triggered more than 1,400 responses, with wildly different business plans: retail stores selling "green" products, software for law enforcement agencies, texting systems to hail cabs, an online metal and plastic parts firm, etc. Within two weeks Cuban expects to invest in two firms, and hopes to pick five more. He will invest about $20,000 to more than $100,000 in each.

"Maybe it leads to great things, maybe it leads to nothing. We will find out," he wrote.

Trivia time

Who has earned more in his NBA career, Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett?

Who's on first?

The World Baseball Classic starts in two weeks and the Dominican Republic, with a provisional roster of Hanley Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Reyes, David Ortiz and Alfonso Soriano, is the favorite to win the tournament at almost even money, according to The U.S. is next at almost 2-1, followed by Japan at 7-1, then Cuba and Venezuela at 9-1.

Trivia answer

Garnett's pay, including this season, totals $234.9 million compared with Bryant's $148.3 million, according to and

And finally

During the All-Star break, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Ben Wallace was playing football in the street when he suffered a gash in his right forearm that required 14 stitches. So the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Branson Wright came up with a list of weird athlete injuries. "In 1990," he wrote, "the Toronto Blue Jays' Glenallen Hill had such a bad dream that he missed his team's game the next night due to cuts and scrapes suffered while trying (or at least he thought) to fight off spiders."


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