Keeping Fans in the Loop OR I Wish Mark Cuban Owned the Knicks

May 9, 2008

It’s never fun to lose. One of the most frustrating moments in a fan’s life is when your team shows incredible promise during the regular season, only to lose early in the playoffs. It happened to the Patriots this year (not winning the super bowl was considered losing early), it happened to the Suns this year and, for the past two years, it has happened to the Mavericks. 2 years ago, the Mavs were essentially 5 quarters away from winning the NBA Championship. Last year, the Mavs had the best record in the league and the league MVP but still lost in the first round. This year, the Mavs traded for a future hall of fame PG that was supposed to bring leadership, stability and a winning attitude to the team but still lost in the first round. As frustrating as that is for the players and the owner, it is arguably just as frustrating for Mavs fans.

I have always respected Mark Cuban. He went from nothing to being the owner of the Mavs. He worked hard and fulfilled his childhood dreams. Financial success aside, what amazes me about Mark is how he uses his blog to talk to Mavs fans. His readers get amazing insight into where the team is going, why decisions were made, and just how much Mark cares about this team. If you havent read any of his posts, i suggest you read his post from last Friday. In it he talks about the team’s struggles at the beginning of the season, why they traded for J Kidd and why the future looks bright. It’s simply a phenomenal post that should make any Mavs fan happy about the future and happy that Mark is the owner.

One of the title’s for this post is “I Wish Mark Cuban Owned the Knicks.” I wrote that because the Isiah Thomas Era was so frustrating for Knicks fans. Every move that he made as the GM and the Coach had little rhyme or reason. Trade for Steve Francis, sign Jerome James, trade for Zach Randolph, hire and fire Larry Brown in the blink of an eye, try out 52,000 difference starting lineups, etc. Knicks fans were kept in the dark about why decisions were made and how they would help the team. It was too much, too fast and it became clear very quickly that Isiah had no idea what he was doing.

The Isiah Thomas Era is thankfully over. The Donnie Walsh Era has begun. Before Donnie makes too many moves (he just signed Mike D’Antoni to a 4-year, $24 million contract), I would like to give him (and our owner Jim Dolan) some advice. Look at how Mark Cuban keeps Mavs fans in the loop and copy that model. Understand that fans in general are rational, passionate, and extremely knowledgeable. We understand teams go through ups and downs. During the downs, we just want an idea of what the team executives are doing to fix the problem, why they are doing it and how long they think it will take to see results. Combine that with players that play with heart every night and we will be ecstatic. We know that you can’t tell the future and that things probably wont go as planned. That’s fine with us. Just please be transparent and keep us in the loop. Use a blog, use twitter, create a social network with Ning – it really doesnt matter. There are tons of options out there. Just keep us in the loop and use the web to not only talk to us but to let us talk to you. I predict that if you do that the bad times wont be as bad, fan loyalty will only increase and the good times will be that much sweeter.

Mark Cuban understands the importance of talking to Mavs fans uses his blog as an outlet. Donnie and Dolan, I hope you copy his model. Go Knicks!

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One Response to “Keeping Fans in the Loop OR I Wish Mark Cuban Owned the Knicks”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Great post! The situation a MSG, the inrtigue, the lack of transparency has put a cloud over the franshice – I didn’t go to one single game this year for the first time in 15 years. Here’s to things changing and a new era.


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