|News item: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is getting his own TV show as part of a new broadcasting deal between the basketball team and stations KTVT and KTXA.
"I Love Cuban"
[EPISODE OPENS WITH MARK CUBAN AND ETHEL MERTZ DRESSED IN WHITE APRONS AND CHEF HATS. THEY ARE STANDING BEHIND A CONVEYOR BELT WITH DAVID STERN, THE NBA FACTORY FOREMAN.]
STERN: All right, Mr. Cuban and Mrs. Mertz, here is what you do. Each ping-pong ball needs to have the logo of an NBA team stamped on it. The ping-pong balls move along the conveyor belt. When a ping-pong ball moves in front of you, pick it up, stamp the appropriate team's logo on it and put it in the lottery basket.
[HANDS THEM BOTH A CLIPBOARD]
Now, listen, because this is very, very important. Here's a list of how many ping-pong balls to stamp with each team's logo. Keep track by checking them off on the chart as you stamp them. If you stamp one team's logo on too many ping-pong balls, our whole lottery will be hopelessly ruined. Do you understand?
CUBAN: Yes, Mr. Stern. The ping-pong balls move along the conveyor belt. We stamp a logo on each one. We use this chart to know how many ping-pong balls to stamp with each team.
ETHEL: We only stamp as many logos as the chart says.
STERN: Good. I'll see you at lunch.
[STERN LEAVES AND THE CONVEYOR BELT BEGINS MOVING. THE FIRST PING-PONG BALLS ARRIVE, VERY SLOWLY, GIVING CUBAN AND ETHEL PLENTY OF TIME TO STAMP EACH WITH THE APPROPRIATE LOGO AND PLACE IT IN THE BASKET.]
CUBAN: This is easy, isn't it, Ethel? We pick up a ping-pong ball, stamp it with a logo -- the Los Angeles Clippers -- and check it off on the chart.
ETHEL: No problem. I pick up the ping-pong ball and stamp it -- the Chicago Bulls -- and put it in the hamper.
[THE CONVEYOR BELT BEGINS TO MOVE A LITTLE FASTER AND THE PING-PONG BALLS BEGIN TO APPEAR FASTER. CUBAN AND ETHEL WORK HARD TO KEEP PACE.]
CUBAN: Ethel, does it seem like this is moving a little faster?
|Next week on The Mark Cuban Show: Mark is joined by special guests Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.|
ETHEL: I was about to ask you the same thing.
[THE PING-PONG BALLS APPEAR EVEN FASTER AND FASTER. CUBAN AND ETHEL STRUGGLE TO KEEP UP. PING-PONG BALLS BEGIN SPILLING OFF THE BELT AS THE TWO FRANTICALLY TRY TO STAMP EACH ONE. SOON THE BALLS BEGIN COMING SO SWIFTLY THAT CUBAN GIVES UP LOOKING AT THE LIST AND JUST GATHERS SEVERAL DOZEN IN HIS APRON.]
CUBAN: Ethel! Quick, start stamping these with Wizards logos!
ETHEL: But Mr. Stern said we had to go by the chart!
CUBAN: There's no time! We'll sort them out later!
[THE PING-PONG BALLS ARE FLOWING OFF THE BELT AND BOUNCING ALL OVER THE ROOM. CUBAN TRIES TO HOLD THE CONVEYOR BELT STILL, BUT THE BELT BEGINS SMOKING AND BREAKS DOWN. STERN RETURNS, SEES THE MESS, NOTICES THAT ALMOST ALL THE BALLS HAVE WIZARDS LOGOS AND GOES BALLISTIC.]
STERN: Mr. Cuban, Mrs. Mertz -- what did I tell you! Because of you, our entire lottery is skewed toward the Wizards! I'm fining you both $50,000!
CUBAN (LOOKING LIKE A CROSS BETWEEN LUCILLE BALL AND EDWARD MUNCH'S "SCREAM"): Waaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!
"This Old Arena"
|"Please keep those ping-pong balls evenly distributed, Mark."|
[SHOW OPENS ON THE SET WITH MARK CUBAN WEARING A TOOL BELT AND STANDING IN FRONT OF A WORKBENCH ALONGSIDE HORNETS OWNER GEORGE SHINN.]
CUBAN: Hi. We have a special guest for this week's show, Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn, who is going to show us how to transform an old basketball arena into a state-of-the-art facility. George, welcome to the show.
SHINN: Thanks, Mark, it's a pleasure to be here.
CUBAN: George, your arena is only 13 years old. Does it really need an update already?
SHINN: Most definitely. While basketball arenas built in the late '80s were considered engineering marvels, they really don't meet modern construction standards and codes. For instance, they sometimes used inferior grades of marble in the luxury suites, occasionally opted for cherrywood over teak and too often built only several dozen suites instead of the 60 or 70 most teams require today.
CUBAN: And to think we're talking barely a decade ago. All right, then. What's the first thing to do?
SHINN: The No. 1 priority for any project is to get the right tools and, in this case, you need a couple of creative accountants to make your profits look like a loss. I also like to use some sports columnists to write about how the team is more important to the community than a strong school or library system.
CUBAN: Then what? Do you gut the building's interior or bring in scaffolding to work on the exterior walls?
SHINN: Neither. Just threaten to move to Memphis or Louisville until the public builds a brand new arena for you.
CUBAN: Wow. I didn't realize it was so simple. Well, thanks for coming on the show, George. And viewers, be sure to tune in next week when we'll have Vancouver Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley on to show you how to remove a team from its foundation and move it 2,000 miles.
"Inside The Actor's Studio"
|Special guest George Shinn, left, will join Mark on the episode entitled, "This Old Arena."|
[SHOW OPENS ON HOST MARK CUBAN SITTING AT DESK IN FRONT OF STUDIO AUDIENCE. HE IS READING FROM A THICK DECK OF BLUE INDEX CARDS.]
CUBAN: Tonight's guest has carefully honed his craft by working with the silver screen's true legends, such as Judd Nelson, Kenan and Kell, Abe Vigoda and Sinbad. In so doing, he has become one of the giants in the film industry, an actor who deserves -- and requires -- an entire sidewalk for his footprints outside Mann's Theater.
He burst onto the silver screen opposite Nick Nolte by playing against type as a hotly recruited high school basketball player in William Friedkin's classic, "Blue Chips." Sony's celebrated movie critic, David Manning, wrote of his performance, "A new star is born. Hollywood hasn't felt this sort of new presence since John Wayne in 'Stagecoach.' I laughed. I cried."
Always stretching himself as an actor, he next moved onto his most celebrated role in a little film called, "Ka-Zaam." His performance was absolutely delicious. Again, Sony's Manning led the critical salutes by writing, "Watching him play the reluctant genie is the most magical performance since Jimmy Stewart sipped drinks with 'Harvey.' I laughed. I cried."
Still unsatisfied, still hungry, from there he took an enormous risk by playing the action hero Steel, in the 1997 movie of the same name. Wrote Manning: "Is it too early to give him an Irving R. Thalberg award for lifetime achievement? I think not. Anthony Hopkins, you could learn a thing or two from this man of Steel. I laughed. I cried."
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce one of the legendary actors of our time -- Mr. Shaquille O'Neal."
[SHAQ WALKS ONTO SET TO A STANDING OVATION AND TAKES HIS SEAT]
CUBAN: I'm sorry. We're already out of time. Join us next time "Inside the Actor's Studio" when we meet Milwaukee's extraordinary young actor from "He Got Game," Ray Allen, and ask him what it was like to work with Denzel Washington, and whether he has ever seen worse officiating than in the Bucks-Sixers series.
Jim Caple is a senior writer at ESPN.com Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories
|Mark will be lucky enough to be joined by one of the great actors of our generation.||