(THE GUARDIAN) -- This was how Mark Cuban fared last week: fined a colossal sum for being too honest, the day after a report of grotesque behaviour at his basketball team drew questions about his potential role in what amounts to a long-running sexual harassment cover-up.
He’s either complicit or incompetent: two very off-brand prospects for a man who has burnished a reputation as an entrepreneur-savant and an American dream embodiment, bartender to self-made billionaire. Of course, he wrote a self-help book. It was called How to Win at the Sport of Business - If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.
Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285m in 2000, aged 42, and they won the NBA title in 2011. He’s also nationally known as one of the sharp-fanged investors on the reality TV show, Shark Tank. Opinionated, accessible, unstuffy: that’s Cuban, Look, he’s sitting with fans in the arena! (But flies to games on his private jet.) Ultra-wealthy populist is a neat gig: it reaps public trust and admiration without the baggage usually attached to the motives and characters of the super-rich – because, really, who gets to the top without treading on people?
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