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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban argued Wednesday that the NBA has several inherent advantages over other professional leagues, taking a few jabs at the NFL in the process.
According to The Boston Herald, Cuban said the NBA's primary advantage is that it is a personality-driven league and has more easily recognizable players and coaches. Their platforms have allowed the NBA to avoid some of the discord that has plagued the NFL, he said.
“You see how they handle controversy (in the NFL). They don’t know what to do, and the players can’t really deal with it," Cuban told the newspaper. "Here, our players have a big enough voice that if we screw up, our players correct us. ... They can say what’s on their mind, and that has a bigger impact on how fans respond than what (NBA commissioner) Adam Silver says or what I say."
Cuban, whose Mavericks suffered a 97-90 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, also cited the league's growing popularity with younger fans, while "the NFL and baseball, they keep on getting older." He added that, perhaps in part due to the NBA 2K video game franchise, fans tend to know more NBA players and coaches than players and coaches in other professional leagues.
"Kids play (NBA) 2K, watch a game, watch TV — you know every player. That’s a huge advantage because our players have brands. Our players have platforms... LeBron (James) tweets, and more people see it than our politicians."
Cuban also touched on the growing understanding of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and long-term safety risks in the NFL.
"In the bigger scheme of things in terms of building fans for the future, what do you want your kids to play? ... Do you want him to get healthy from running the court, or do you want to watch him play football and worry about collisions?"
Contact Tom Schad at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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