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Mark Cuban: Kobe Bryant rape case is ''great for the NBA''


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No one will ever accuse Cuban of being poliitically correct.

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Cuban: Season opener vs. Lakers now 'must-see TV'

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ESPN.com news services

So it was only a matter of time before the Mavericks owner weighed in on the Kobe Bryant scandal.

During an interview with Access Hollywood's Pat O'Brien, Cuban commented on the charges filed in Colorado against Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers guard accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman.

"From a business perspective, it's great for the NBA. It's reality television, people love train-wreck television and you hate to admit it, but that is the truth, that's the reality today," Cuban told the TV show.

In its Tuesday editions, USA Today asked Cuban to elaborate on his "It's great for the NBA" comments.

"Notoriety sells in this day and age," Cuban told the newspaper. "... I can't think of anyone who is going through a legal problem who doesn't get high attention. Is that cold-blooded? Yeah. But it is bottom-line reality."

Cuban added: "I don't want to compare Kobe with O.J. (Simpson) because Kobe's case hasn't been decided, but the reality is there is more interest in him (Kobe) now."

Cuban also said the intrigue will make Dallas' season opener against the Lakers on Oct. 28 "must see TV."

"Take away the personal aspect and the reality is that there will be more people watching our game against the Lakers," Cuban told USA Today. "Who do you know won't watch the Lakers game with Kobe?"

Bryant is scheduled to attend a preliminary hearing on Wednesday at the Eagle County Justice Center at approximately 6 p.m. ET. Bryant will be read the charges against him and may enter a plea.

On Monday, a possible witness may have emerged in the investigation.

Bobby Pietrack, a bellman at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, told police that he saw his 19-year-old co-worker shortly after she left Bryant's room on the night of the alleged sexual assault, ESPN's Shelley Smith reported Monday.

Pietrack reportedly told police that the woman was visibly upset, disheveled and had red marks on her neck and face, according to Smith.

Sources close to the investigation say Pietrack is considered the first link in the chain of what is called "immediate outcry," meaning he is the first person the alleged victim cried out to immediately following the alleged incident.

The alleged victim went to police the following day, approximately 13 hours after the alleged assault. Sources also said that photos taken of her at that point show the marks. Those photos are considered part of the prosecution's evidence.

Pietrack has not spoken to reporters and has declined repeated requests by ESPN.

Truth be told I believe he is absolutely correct, but some things are better left unsaid. Stern may be forced to fine him though.

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Stars, even the brightest ones, wither and die, but the game goes on.

The name of the real game is ratings. In these dark days of bread and circuses on the boob tube the Kobe Bryant case is just the newest high tide scandal that raises all boats-- at least for 15 minutes. TV serves this and ''we'' the passively watchching public gorge on it.

Such are our times.

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I agree with Cuban. Kids in Middle and HighSchools don't care what Kobe did, if anything, they like that he's now more of a bad guy. If what Cuban says is false, how cold ANY single fan cheer for Iverson? Iverson is everything that is wrong with athletes today, but he is just as popular as Shaq or Kobe. I think Kobe will benefit from this whole thing (unless he goes to jail).

But I will note, it's sad, it shouldn't be that way, but it is.

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I'm going to watch Kobe's trial, not his games. Pro basketball is still pro basketball.

The O.J. trial sure as hell didn't increase interest in Bills games. Granted, he was a former player, but same idea.

I guarantee this will hurt the NBA. Nobody, not even the most down and out "I'm so ghetto" 16 year old will want to look like he's celebrating a rapist by wearing his jersey.

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Originally posted by OrangeSkin

I'm going to watch Kobe's trial, not his games. Pro basketball is still pro basketball.

The O.J. trial sure as hell didn't increase interest in Bills games. Granted, he was a former player, but same idea.

I guarantee this will hurt the NBA. Nobody, not even the most down and out "I'm so ghetto" 16 year old will want to look like he's celebrating a rapist by wearing his jersey.

I saw 2 kids wearing Kobe jersey's today when I went to one of our YR schools for a problem.

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This may boost ratings for a few months, but in the long run I don't see the benefit of the league getting the reputation that their players are mysoginists and rapists.

And Cuban's a classless shmuck for making that comment. Even if he had a point in there somewhere, it's not a point worth making.

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