Mark Cuban still thinks the River Walk is nasty

By Jerrod Kingery

AUSTIN, Texas - Think what you want of Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks and frequent antagonist of the city of San Antonio at large, but the man knows how to build a business. From his first million dollar company to his first billion dollar company to turning the perennial NBA doormat Mavericks into a championship team, Cuban is a winner--whether San Antonio Spurs fans like it or not.

Saturday at South By Southwest in Austin, Cuban sat down for an hour-long talk at the One World Theatre in front of the Entrepreneurs' Organization of Austin (read: roomful of millionaires). Cuban, in a t-shirt, jeans, and socked feet, fed the crowd business advice wrapped in his trademark everyman smarm.

Even though I've been an avowed Cuban hater for the past 14 years, I'll admit that I was won over by the guy. He's truly a smart guy who knows how to run a business and knows he got extremely lucky when he sold his business to Yahoo! for a billion dollars at the height of the dotcom boom of the turn of the century. But I'm not a business guy, I'm a basketball guy, so when I got a chance after the talk to get a few questions one-on-one with Cuban, I asked him point blank: why do you like making fun of San Antonio, especially the River Walk?

"Because I can. It's fun," Cuban says with a laugh. "It's inconsequential."

Cuban, though, can never resist another dig, saying he "gave money to clean the River Walk, but the reality is: everyone in San Antonio, their worst nightmare is falling in the River Walk."

If it makes you feel any better, though, Cuban adds, sincerely that he has "total respect for the Spurs organization, but you guys are so sensitive about the River's just so easy, why would I not do it?"

For the rest of the interview, check out the video at the top of the page.
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