Mark Cuban Uses The Championship Defense

The Dallas Mavericks may have gotten back to the real world a scant two weeks since taking the Larry O’Brien Trophy home. But they sure don’t want to leave it.

DeShawn Stevenson was caught partying a little too hard and tried to get out of it by reminding police the Mavericks were the championships. That did not work. Mark Cuban is now trying to do the same in court.

Former Mavericks majority owner Ross Perot Jr., who sold the team to Cuban, currently has a lawsuit claiming the Mavericks are poorly run and insolvent. Must be music to David Stern’s ears with this lockout coming up. Perot is suing to regain his majority stake in the team and wrest it away from Cuban.

Wednesday, Cuban’s attorneys filed a motion seeking summary judgment — in lay man’s terms, asking the court to say there is no need to go to trial, we win just based on the facts. Here is the basis for the motion:

“Under Hillwood’s ownership, the team was deemed the ‘worst franchise’ in all of professional sports. Under Cuban’s stewardship the Mavericks have become one of the league’s most successful teams and are now NBA champions. Accordingly, there can be no genuine question that Hillwood’s claims of mismanagement lack merit and Hillwood’s claims should be disposed of on summary judgment.”

Sure makes sense. Can’t be a poorly run franchise if your team just won the NBA title. The championship defense is somewhere in the Fifth Amendment, right?

Cuban told Deadspin this was all his legal team’s idea. The rationale? The goal for an NBA franchise is to win an NBA title. Therefore a team that wins the NBA title can’t be mismanaged. Makes sense. Then you have to consider some of the other rationales — like profitability. I do not imagine the Mavericks are not profitable.

“It’s a humorous twist,” Cuban’s lawyer, Thomas M. Melshiner, said. “But it has legal force. It makes a serious point that allegations of mismanagement are ridiculous. A substantial part of our defense is that the Mavericks are successful, and what more obvious success for an NBA team than an NBA championship?”

Melshiner said the purpose of the lawsuit from Perot is to try and get Cuban to buy him out of his stake. The Perot’s took a big hit when the real estate market crashed a few years ago. Melshiner said they just want cash.

And, I guess to give us fun headlines like this. I have a feeling the Mavericks will be doing stuff like this for at least the next year.

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About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily