Mark Cuban to Pay for 'Burgh Bailout

"Cuban Makes First Pittsburgh Investment" hit the newspaper this morning with all the breathlessness that characterizes a damsel in distress, spying her knight in shining armor. Given what actually happened (Mark Cuban, the mercurial and fabulously rich son of Mt. Lebanon, made a little local real estate investment, then said that he has no plans to make more), the P-G could have announced the deal under the headline, "Cuban Makes Last Pittsburgh Investment."

If the media is going to play who's-going-to-save-us-now, why stop at speculating that Cuban will buy the Pirates and the Penguins? Why not wonder aloud whether he will build Pittsburgh a new arena or better, whether he'll simply pay off the accumulated debt of the City of Pittsburgh and buy the city outright?

Through no fault of his own, Cuban is no shining knight. Cuban is Godot. I've met his mom and I've heard stories of his childhood. If every son and daughter of Pittsburgh had this guy's entrepreneurial streak, this City wouldn't need to be rescued.


4 Responses to "Mark Cuban to Pay for 'Burgh Bailout"

Chris said... 1/20/2006 11:30 AM

A series of retorts:

You're getting sloppy: Cuban is no shining night? Knight?

You know what Cuban did in high school? have become a real Pittsburgher!

Why is it anyone's job to save Pittsburgh? Dumping money into blackholes isn't a solution.

Why would Cuban come back? Look around you (I hear Monroeville's beautiful this time of year)!

Some say Godot is the devil, some say he's God. Let's not look a gift horse in the mouth. Pgh is a crack whore...and Cuban just passed the pipe.

Take your hit.

Amos_thePokerCat said... 1/20/2006 1:52 PM

Ohh, and I thought I liked my coffee bitter.

Like most sons and daughters of Pittsburgh with an entrepreneurial streak, Cuban left town to be able to actualize it. Although, I list him under the column, "Lucky to be bought out before the bubble burst" column. Yahoo bought him out in July of '99.

The story does not say exactly, or even approximately, how much Cuban invested. Probably just a couple of $M. I mean he will invest that much in any flush in the pan idea.

Mike Madison said... 1/20/2006 2:21 PM

I changed "night" to "knight" before Godot; thanks for the correction. And I know what Cuban did *before* high school.
You're right on when it comes to timing; in one sense, Cuban just got lucky. But he's a gambler, and sometimes gamblers win big. OTOH, I've read that it's his wife who put her foot down: no buying the Pirates.

Amos_thePokerCat said... 1/20/2006 9:37 PM

If there is one thing I understand, and appreciate it is gambling. ... and not just the straight gambling kinda, but the risk taking growth kind. Three times I have worked for companies that made the Inc 500, (all without any VC input), none went pubic. One is still in business, but limping along in a whole different market.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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