Optimistic Mavs Owner Cuban: 'Hopefully Play By Middle of May'

Mike Fisher

DALLAS - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been a powerful voice in the world of Sports and COVID-19, and I presume he's at least as "in the know'' as any of us ... and when it comes to the NBA and the coronavirus, more in the know.

And he is expressing some optimism here.

“Hopefully by the middle of May, we’re starting to get back to normal and the NBA is playing games,” Cuban said to WFAA Monday morning, as transcribed by NBC. “Maybe not with fans, but we’re playing it because sports plays such an important role. You know, people want something to cheer for, people want something to rally around, people want something to be excited about ...''

The second part of Cuban's statement is certainly true, and one both he and NBA commissioner Adam Silver agree upon: We need entertainment. We need sports. We need a sliver of normalcy.

But I watch as one NBA/NHL billionaire owner is cutting back salaries and I watch Americans crowding airports and frolicking at the beach and ... I'm not sure. I remember Cuban talking about maybe starting play in mid-June, when the NBA Finals usually finish up. And he concedes in this visit that any timetable is just a guess, although an educated one.

“I mean you know no one has perfect information right now, and so all decisions are tough. But, you know, if I had to guess based off the people I’ve talked to at the CDC and other places, I would say that the over/under would be June 1, and I’m taking the under.”

We know that the NBA wishes to pick up the season at some point, and to crown a champion. There are plenty of reasons for that, commerce, along with "community spirit'' and "entertainment needs'' among them.  And we know that Cuban is at the forefront, in a leadership role, in so many ways here.

But we also suspect that resuming some measure of "normalcy'' in the form of NBA games in, say, seven weeks, is an aggressive goal. And maybe that's Cuban's most important point here. Let's be optimistic. Let's be aggressive. Let's be safe now, so we can be normal later.

In mid-May. Hopefully.