Mark Cuban Talks NBA Tanking, BLM, and China with Megyn Kelly

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Monday, Mark Cuban appeared on the Megyn Kelly Show. The NBA owner spun the NBA’s tank-job as hard as he could, discussing the league’s ratings collapse, Black Lives Matter, and the NBA’s relationship with China.

As Outkick has written, the 2020 NBA Finals are an historic disaster — with games down as much as 58% year-over-year. Kelly accurately blames the league’s decision to go political for the millions of Americans turning away.

“You wear a pink ribbon to support breast cancer is one thing. Putting BLM in the middle of the court when it’s not supported by virtually any Republican in the country [is another],” she started.

Cuban then oddly asked Kelly “which BLM group” she was referring to.

“It’s a group founded by Marxists, who want to dismantle the nuclear family and defund the police,” Kelly responded.

Cuban claimed that and the movement were not the same: “You never, ever heard [the NBA] talk about Marxism.”

Kelly got him again: “To pretend BLM — dot com, or otherwise — is not about defunding the police is dishonest. The basketball players have made clear, they support that.”

Cuban didn’t deny that certain players want to dismantle the police. “Individual players can have their opinions,” he says. The NBA “is interested in police reform. We’ve never talked about defunding the police.”

Though Cuban is correct the NBA, as a unit, has never stated they are for defunding police, the league has fully embraced BLM. The group, as Kelly notes, “devotes” itself to defunding law enforcement agencies across the country.

Cuban tried to argue that there was no one speaking for BLM, but that isn’t true either.

“The co-founder of BLM, Patrisse Cullors, was on TV saying, ‘We should abolish law enforcement,'” Kelly noted.

For some reason, Cuban claimed that networks were simply re-airing Cullors’ quotes.

“Your audience is fleeing,” Kelly said on the topic of viewership decline. “They object to the politicization of the league… [The NBA] has suffered.”

Kelly broke down the Finals’ turnout:

“Lowest Finals opener ever. Game 2, another new low.  Game 3, down an unprecedented 58% from last year.

“This is during a marquee matchup with the Lakers and Heat. Last year, they had some team in Canada. That matchup is crushing what we are seeing now.”

Kelly summed up the series: “This is an unprecedented viewership collapse.”

Here is where the discussion got good. Cuban used the same excuses the sports media has used for years to distract from the NBA’s tanking numbers. He blamed the media outlets that Kelly chose to cite: “The sources might not be reflective of reality.” Kelly said she read about the NBA ratings on Outkick.

“You are not looking outside NBA ratings to see what is happening in media,” Cuban fired back. He also mentioned horse racing’s decline.

As I explained last week, NBA defenders are now comparing the league to niche sports — like horse racing and hockey. But in 2016, the same media members compared the NBA with the NFL.

Which one is it? Is the NBA on its way to catching the NFL, or is it a niche sport catered to a specific audience?

ESPN answers:

Later in the interview, the two got into the NBA’s business relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.

Kelly asked point-blank, “Why won’t you and the NBA condemn” China?

“I put a priority on domestic issues,” Cuban returned. “I’m against all human rights violations around the world. China is not the only country with human rights violations.”

I credit Mark Cuban for going on the podcast and discussing these issues. Most wouldn’t do that. But on the topic of China, he went from spin-master to world-class dodger.

Nearly every time Kelly asked him to be specific about condemning China, he responded by saying he’s “against all human rights violations.” He even gave this same vague response when Kelly asked him directly if he condemns the genocide going on in China.

To be clear: I don’t believe that Cuban is indifferent to what is going on in China. However, he is putting business ahead of human rights.  China “is a customer of ours,” he explained to Kelly. “And I’m OK with doing business with China.”

If Cuban, LeBron James, or Adam Silver really wanted to effect change outside the world of basketball, then they would denounce China. They won’t.

We encourage you to listen to the whole interview.

Follow Bobby Burack on Twitter @burackbobby_.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest media topics as well as trending sports, cultural and political stories.

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcast and radio stations.

Previously, Burack was a writer at The Big Lead where he covered similar topics. He also hosted an eponymous podcast where he interviewed several personalities such as Joe Tessitore, and Adam Schefter.


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  1. Well good for Kelly dopey Cuban sounds like some lying politician that won’t give a direct answer or directly condemn the chicoms which he knows is a brutal human rights violator the routinely imprisons and murders its own populations. To say the chicoms aren’t the only ones is a really weak pathetic and very telling non answer to the question. He always comes across as an arrogant know it all and thinks the rest of us are just stupid never cared for him and still don’t.

  2. Thank you for the great article, Mr. Burack. I never would have seen/heard the Kelly-Cuban interview. The NBA should be worried that Cuban fully met my expectations.

    Indeed, NBA owners, represented by co-Emperor Cuban, and their court jester Silver have no clothes.

  3. It’s so important to remember how the media got off when the NFLs numbers were down. That’s such an excellent Tweet that shows how full of it they are. It’s absolutely despicable, with no end in sight.

  4. Mark Cuban is not stupid, you do not become as successful as he has without being pretty smart. Unfortunately, that means he is a complete liar and you cannot believe a word he says. I understand that their #1 priority is keeping China happy, but don’t tell me there isn’t a concern with historically low TV ratings. Seriously, now the NBA is being compared to horse racing? Only a fool would believe it isn’t an issue that you have a 50% drop in customers consuming your product. Cuban isn’t a fool, just a liar. I am sure he is assuming many will come back next season after this dies down a little bit. He may be correct, but I know I won’t be one of them.

  5. Mark – I am a Mavs fan but let me help you here before your pants get soiled. Just tell the truth…..”China is a bigger long term market than the U.S. so I am making a business decision to kiss China a$$”. This is not hard Mark!!!

  6. I’m always leery of what billionaires say. They don’t see life like people who are working hard for the money. If the “country” hates these rich assholes then why do we listen to what they say. WTFU

  7. Nice assessment Bobby, spot on and good to report what Kelly is doing. Loved Travis interview of her as well. Cuban and Silver need to directly apologize to America before I will ever come back. Its a niche league now, like soccer.

  8. When Megyn Kelly asked Cuban why he and the NBA wouldn’t condemn China, his answer, if he was being honest, simply should have been MONEY!! And then I would have asked him what was wrong with supporting freedom for Hong Kong as Daryl Morey, from the Rockets did? I’ll end it by saying I have lowered my opinion of Mark Cuban!!!! His billions don’t make him wise! Good for his success and wealth but sad to hear the way he acted about the entire China NBA Hong Kong situation. Great interview by Megyn Kelly and I loved her interview with Clay! Love OUTKICK!

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