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Piers Morgan Live

Interview with Mark Cuban

Aired February 25, 2014 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is Piers Morgan Live exclusive.

Tonight, the two and a half billion dollar man, a man who knows just about everything there is to know about winning. Exhibit A, this buzzer beater last night at Madison Square Garden with Dallas Mavericks edging out the New York Knick 110 with 108. When Maverick billionaire Mark Cuban talks or in this case walks right across the court, he's never and I mean never afraid to say exactly what he thinks.


MARK CUBAN, DALLAS MAVERICKS OWNER: The swag is being able to tell other people what they need to do and not having to worry about them telling you what to do.


MORGAN: I'll ask him about winning in sports.


CUBAN: I said, "Would you sell the team?" he said, "Yeah." I said, "What's your price?" and I didn't negotiate (inaudible).


MORGAN: Winning in business.


CUBAN: It wasn't about how much money I had. It was about how hard can I work and what can I accomplish.


MORGAN: And what it takes to make it big on Shark Tank.


CUBAN: I want it to sink on you very, very hard. So it just reverberates through your whole body. What was my last question to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would I take the 90,000 for 40 percent?

CUBAN: You had a chance to close, didn't you?


MORGAN: Tonight, Mark Cuban for the hour and Mark Cuban was a man who wears many hats, the Dallas Mavericks owner, acts as TV chairman even Shark Tank investor. There's a lot to talk about tonight. And Mark joins me exclusively. Welcome to you.

CUBAN: Thanks, Piers.

MORGAN: Let me start with you. Now, I watched you last night and there's this amazing moment, you know, there's your team beating the Knicks in the last second, it was a typical kind of Cubanesque movement. And I thought there this guy who - when you were at 19, 20, you didn't have a dime to rub between you, right? And there you are the billionaire owner of a basketball team beating the Knicks in their own backyard. What did that moment feel like for you?

CUBAN: It's amazing. I mean, that's one of the beauties of owning a sports team when you get to run out the court, you know, and there's a buzzer beater jumping up and down with everybody else and the cops aren't chasing you. So, it's surreal. I mean, it's an amazing feeling.

MORGAN: Do you pinch yourself sometimes?

CUBAN: Everyday. I mean, I can't tell you how many times I'll just look around and my family and, you know, just everything that's going on and just it's crazy. It's amazing and I try to never take it for granted.

MORGAN: Your story is extraordinary, Mark, because you go back, you were living in Pittsburgh, your first job was working in a bank, the Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh ...

CUBAN: In Pittsburgh. Yeah.

MORGAN: ... and the real young you realize that this sort of bank structure, the hierarchy is limiting.

CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: Tell me how you dealt with that.

CUBAN: I got a job working at Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh and I would send notes to the CEO on the (inaudible), right? I'm working on these systems conversions where they were converting from old traditional systems to new digital systems and I would read articles thinking, "Oh the bank have benefit from this."

So I literally, I mean, I'm a new hire sent notes to the CEO and he would respond to me. And until my boss pulled me into his office and starts screaming at me, John Whitman who's just yelling and yelling, "You're not allowed to do this, you're not allowed to do that" and I realized I was never going to be a very good employee then.

MORGAN: Because you were basically not observing the bank structure.

CUBAN: No, I was a wasn't going through my ...

MORGAN: You and I know you're a tough a guy.

CUBAN: I just went right to the CEO. I mean it's like no big deal. I mean the whole point when you go to work for somebody I thought was you do all you can to make the company more profitable, no limits and I realize I wasn't going to be a very good employee then.

MORGAN: Was that the moment when you thought I'm going to leave this place?

CUBAN: That was one of many. They basically -- after I started just doing pretty much what I wanted to do, they kind of shuttled me off and said, "OK. Spend sometime here ... " and they kind of - and I just quit. I've only been there for nine months and then that's - I went back to Indiana for a little bit back to Bloomington for a little bit of time and then went down to Dallas and the rest is history.

MORGAN: And it is a remarkable history. And you got to Dallas and you got no money still ...

CUBAN: Right.

MORGAN: You get together with five mates. You're living in this small place, right?

CUBAN: Well, I mean I had a car, a 1977 Fiat X1/9 with hole on the floorboard where I had to put oil and like every 60 miles and literally I had to be careful not get dizzy and fall asleep because I could see all of the light the road go by in the hole on the floorboard.

I had a bunch of buddies that were living in Dallas and I showed up, I said, "I'm crashing you." I had five other roommates. I always slept on the floor, didn't have my own room, didn't have a closet, I didn't have, you know, any place to put my clothes except to pile.

MORGAN: You had a rule when you out with the old gang. Nobody could spend more $20.

CUBAN: $20. Yeah.

MORGAN: So you'd all go and buy horrible cheap $12 ...

CUBAN: It was great. (inaudible) stuff like that and we walk around like we are moguls, right? We'd walk around with this bottle champagnes, drinking out of champagnes, and P. Diddy thought it was cold drink and say drink it out of the bottle. We were away ahead of the curb because it was cheap and we thought we were cool.

MORGAN: Having no money, what was that feeling like for you? What did it to you? What did it make you want to be?

CUBAN: You know, it was no big deal that was - I mean, I had a blast when I was poor but because I always -- I was always motivated, I was always competitive and so it wasn't like I said, "Well, you know, I'm sleeping at the floor ... " so that's my motivation. My motivation was always I want to be rich and retire. I want to have all my time. I realized back then that time was my most valuable asset. And I think my dad really drilled into me that you have to appreciate everything in life.

So, it wasn't about how much money I had. It was about how hard can I work and what could I accomplish? And that --I think that's what motivated me to get out.

MORGAN: Your dad was obviously a pivotal figure in your life. When he gave you advice, did he give you advice or was it more the way he conducted at himself?

CUBAN: A little bit of both. He never gave me business advice. My dad did upholstery on cars. If you had a rip in your car sear, you know, you'd bring it to my dad or he'd go to McDonald's and saw up rips in the upholstery there less denied (ph) an accident as he was putting staples into a car seat and he never really never understood business and so it wasn't like I can ask him for business, but he gave me great life advice.

And, you know, just today is the youngest you were ever going to be. So you have to live like it, you know, I'd always complain, "I'm getting old." and he'd laugh at me and this and that. And just -- he just always told me that there were no limits, I could do anything I put my mind to and he never tried to slow me down or stop me.

MORGAN: Going back to Dallas. There you are, you're all living this party life on mega resources and you start to do a few things entrepreneurly. I bet all your mates are doing crazy jobs ...

CUBAN: Right. Right.

MORGAN: ... bartending or whatever. Your first dabble into real business is what?

CUBAN: Starting a business or working?

MORGAN: You went to work with one where you've got this huge deal. I love this story.

CUBAN: Right. Right. Right.

MORGAN: Where you managed to do with deals. You were working with a small business.

CUBAN: Right. So I'm working for this software company and one of my jobs was to come in and sweep the floor and open up the store and so I had closed this deal for $15,000 and with 10 percent commission so I was making $1,500 that was huge.

MORGAN: Huge for you. Life changing.

CUBAN: Enormous, right? And so I called my boss, Michael Humecki and I said, "I'm not coming in. I've got Barbara all set to cover opening up the store and sweeping the floor and all that." and he said, "No. I need you to come in." and I said, "I got a close this deal. My customer is expecting me." and so I went and picked up the check thinking I hand this guy $15,000 check, he's going to love me for it and he fires me. Keep the check.

MORGAN: Why would he fire you?

CUBAN: I have no idea. I have no idea.

MORGAN: Did he give any reason?

CUBAN: I don't remember. I don't remember. I, you know, he was a guy that was -- and I learned a lot from Michael. I learned to do the opposite, right? Because he was really into puppet circumstance, "I'm the president, you're not." This is how a president operates. This is what the president wears. He would tell me, you know, "You should buy us suit here. This is where it looks good. You should buy clothes there. That's where it looks good."

But he was never selling and this was a company that needed sales. And so I never really got into it with him. I just took the check back, went back and started the company MicroSolutions out of my, you know, six guys in a three-bedroom apartment, apartment and, you know, build that into $80 million in sales.

MORGAN: And the big deal, the massive one that made you a billionaire. In the build up to that, tell me how you were feeling as a businessman?

CUBAN: You know, it started when we went public. And so, you know, we started basically the whole streaming industry. We didn't start streaming software but we took it and turned it into a business where we had a million people a day coming in and listening to audio and watching video. We, you know, started doing, you know, the popup videos and the lead videos but, you know, the intro ask before video. We started ...

MORGAN: Was there a kind of eureka moment for you personally when you thought, "OK. This is how I can become a billionaire."?

CUBAN: Yeah. So -- OK, I can tell you a story. Our office was at 2929 Elm Street and we had 15 employees at AudioNet and I remember sitting and talking every -- we would have people come in around the world -- from around the work to AudioNet or the site then saying, "This is changing my life, I feel like I'm back home." People who were in Korea, in Thailand, the Aleutian Islands would e-mail us or call us and say, "Oh my God, this is amazing."

And so I sat and I told everybody and said, "Look, if we do this right, this is going to be worth billions or we screwed it up." And this is when we were just months old. And so it was obvious that if we really push it that streaming audio and video was going to be enormous and we had a unique opportunity to take advantage.

MORGAN: Were you technically, yourself very, very savvy or ...

CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: ...or did you just have really smart guy ...

CUBAN: No. No. No, it wasn't me. I sat -- I've never sit in the second bedroom of my house. I bought ISDN line, a Packard Bell computer for $3,000, a router and I taught myself all the HTML stuff I needed to do to put together the website which wasn't hard to do.

MORGAN: You taught yourself this?

CUBAN: Yeah, but that's easy. That's not a big accomplishment but I ...

MORGAN: You make it sound easy.

CUBAN: Well, it is. It is.

MORGAN: I couldn't do that.

CUBAN: Yeah, you could. I mean, that wasn't the hard part. The hard part was figuring out how to get streaming to work with an ever growing number of users in an internet infrastructure that didn't support it. And so putting in into servers, connecting the servers, knowing understanding the networking which is what MicroSolutions Company did. We were one of the first Local Area Networking companies in the world.

And so putting all those features together and then knowing that we had to go out and sell it and let people know what it was, we evangelized it, putting all of those features together is what it made it work. And so the next thing you know, we're getting a million daily users in a world where, you know, hardly anybody had broadband.

So it was a big accomplishment and as we grew that and it became obvious that multimedia was the future of the internet, Yahoo, AOL, and others started paying attention to us. We went public in July of 1998, we had the largest one day pop in the history of the stock market at the time.

And that's when I remember sitting in the back of the car here in New York talking to my partner Todd Wagner saying, "We might be able to have B next to our name with how crazy the stock market is and where we're going with this business." He's like, "You're an idiot that will never happen."

And I remember the second it happened because I was working at home in the morning and watching the stock because we're getting close. And I was literally naked in front of my computer when it crossed the line and I was a billionaire. So, you know, and we've got ...

MORGAN: Secure that moment, the moment you were naked in front of computer and you become a billionaire what do you do? I hope this is clean, this better be clean.

CUBAN: Again, because at that point in time the market was so crazy I didn't know if it would last.

MORGAN: If I could say to you, "OK, Mark Cuban, I can let you relive the best sex you've ever had in your life or that moment when you're naked in front of your computer watching yourself become a billionaire, which one would you take?"

CUBAN: I'm taking the naked in front of the computer every time. Because with that billion dollars I could buy all the great sex I could ever want at the time.

MORGAN: Let's take a short break. Recover up our composure I think and come back and talk more about this. I want to know what happen after you become a billionaire. You started to lead I guess the dream of many billionaires. You go and buy sports teams.

CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: Exactly. Buy fast cars, very hot women, not a lot ...



LEONARDO DICAPRIO, AS JORDAN BELFORT IN THE "WOLF OF WALL STREET": I have been a rich man and I had been a poor man and I chose rich ever (inaudible) time.

Because at least as a rich man when I have to face my problems I show up in back of a limo, wearing a $2,000 suit and a $40,000 gold (inaudible) watch.


MORGAN: Oscar-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio in the "Wolf of Wall Street" taking a deem view of the SCC bomb. I'll start with Mark Cuban my special guest. Have you seen "Wolf of Wall Street"?

CUBAN: Yeah, I loved it.

MORGAN: Do you think it was true to reality?

CUBAN: I think there was some embellishment and I know that because I've talked to some of the characters involved. But I think that at its heart it was very true that once you get going, you know, it's addictive. And it sells people self, and I, you know, it wouldn't surprise me that 90 percent was exactly how it went down.

MORGAN: I interviewed Jordan Belfort recently and he said a very interesting thing about how he's learned morality became chip to him (ph). I want to play you that. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JORDAN BELFORT, THE REAL-LIFE "WOLF OF WALL STREET": What seems amazing at first becomes complex after a while. You don't lose your soul all at once. You lose it a little bit at a time incrementally, you know, when I lost my ethical way, it did not start off and I'm sure we'll go that later. But, it's sort of like these tiny imperceptible steps over the line and before you do it, see each time you let him around and moves a bit, and before you know it you're doing things, you thought you never do and it seems perfectly OK.


MORGAN: It struck me that ever successful business man in the world probably has moments when they can either cross a line, an ethical moral line or they don't. And in Jordan Belfort's case, he kept crossing ever bigger lines until he eventually he realized he lost his soul somewhere on the line.

I mean though he didn't really want to. And I've said to him later, did you ever wish you haven't gotten the illegitimate way because you probably could have been a billionaire the straight way and I think he knows that. What do you think about that process, how do people like you avoid the pitfalls of a Jordan Belfort and others?

CUBAN: And that was easy, right? It's like when you're a kid someone says, "Hey, you want to do a little bit pot? You can make some extra money." And either you say yes or no, right? Particularly when you have no money people are coming up to you and pitching you stuff like that. Just say no, right? Either you kept confidence in your self and you know you can do it the right way or you can't. And so that's never been like temptation for me but I can see it's like in sales we talk about incentives, right? And just managing people and I always talk about, what if you give somebody a Cadillac and say, "If you don't hit your goal you lose the Cadillac."

It's whole lot different than saying if you hit your goal you get a Cadillac because people don't ever want to lose what they have. Once they taste a good life, they'll do almost anything to get ...

MORGAN: That's a really interesting thing. I haven't heard that before.

CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: Is that something you've done with your own style with this?

CUBAN: Yes. Yes, because I want them to give them the incentives upfront because they don't want to lose it, you want to ...

MORGAN: And do you take away the cars?

CUBAN: You have to otherwise you have no credibility.

MORGAN: How do you feel when you do that?

CUBAN: It's like you had your chance, you know, what are we going to do fix it? I don't want to ... MORGAN: That's really interesting, sir, and it's a better motivating fact do you think to have them think they may lose something they're really enjoying.

CUBAN: Right.

MORGAN: That perhaps have an unobtainable trophy ...

CUBAN: Well it's a multi step process that says, one, I have confidence with you that you can reach these goals. Two, I'm going to put you in a position to succeed. Three, you agreed that I'd put you in a position to succeed. So we're agreeing that this is the reward. And if you don't reach your goals, I'm taking away the reward. Do we all agree on this yes or no? And if the answer is yes, let's do it. So there's not hidden agenda they know it up front.

MORGAN: And Jordan Belfort when I interviewed him. At the end, he just sold me pen which is seen from the movie with DiCaprio and he sold me a pen. And it was fascinating how he did it. He said he didn't try and over sell me a pen if I didn't really want one. He said he had to identify a need in me, in other words have you thought recently in the last few months about having a pen? And if you get a yes, then he goes into full sales mode.

CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: Is that good sales tactic?

CUBAN: You always want to put yourself in the shoes of the person you're selling to. That's always what made me successful.

When I was selling computers, I was selling software, writing stuff for myself. My skill set was I can walk into a shoe store and say, I understand your business, here's what I can do to improve it. I can walk into furniture store, I can walk into a doctor's office, I can walk into any business in this moment and say, "I can help you. I can help you used technology to your advantage because I understand your business."

So yes, if you could put yourself in the shoes of the people you're selling to. You're always going to know how to sell and be successful.

MORGAN: Do you carry a wallet?

CUBAN: Yeah, I carry a wallet.

MORGAN: I asked Warren Buffet. You got any?

CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: What do you have in it?

CUBAN: It's a good question. I've got some credit cards, a debit card, driver's license, I've got some cards from some folks, I've got my doctor's, I've got my IU alum card, I've got my insurance card. MORGAN: How much cash?

CUBAN: I've got my gym card. Probably about $700 now because I was just in Vegas.

MORGAN: Not dissimilar to Warren actually. Do all of you billionaires basically have -- in fact the wallet looked the same. It is like a billionaire wallet club?

CUBAN: Yeah, actually there is, you get it after you learn the handshake. But you know what? I'm always upset because I've never been invited into the Trilateral Commission. You know, I thought I made all this money, I qualify right? I thought the government ...

MORGAN: When you see other billionaires, I'm always curious about this, is this like a little billionaire banter (ph), you know, that you guys on?

CUBAN: It just depends if they're friends or not. So I'll tell you, I've got a buddy and he -- which I basketball with and he just sold his company and he crossed the billionaire mark. And we just sat down there, had a big old smile I saw him two weeks ago and he was like, I think maybe I should buy a sports to him, all right.

Whatever right, but it's, you know, it's special, right, and we -- I think anybody who's reached that level understands that luck plays a part of it that...

MORGAN: When people say that money, you know, money won't make you happy.

CUBAN: True.

MORGAN: But isn't there an element to -- that money alleviate one of the life's stresses?

CUBAN: It relieves a lot of stress. That's different to make you happy.

MORGAN: Because you've known having no money?

CUBAN: Oh yeah, look...

MORGAN: You could be better having it, right?

CUBAN: Oh, it's always better having, yeah.

MORGAN: But it's not an equivalence for getting happiness?

CUBAN: No. If you are miserable, when you are poor, you're going to be miserable when you're rich because you still have the same issues and the same stresses. You don't like, I've come home, I can't tell you how many times. I've come home with a date and the lights were turned off.

You know, I've had to run from work to the utility company to pay my bill realized I don't have cash, realized I don't have enough money in the bank with the check that I'll check will cover and then have to go back and borrow some cash. So I've been there. So money is a whole lot better than no money. But I was having a blast. I was more than willing. One of my goals was to retire by the time I was 35. I did it when I was 30 and live like a student. So it wasn't like I was looking for opulence. I was looking for freedom. I was looking for the value of time.

MORGAN: What is the single best thing about being a billionaire?

CUBAN: Just more control your time, more control, you know.

MORGAN: Well, being alterable (ph) or accountable to be?

CUBAN: That's exactly right. I don't wear a watch. There has been damn good reason for me to wear suit, you know.

MORGAN: This wasn't good enough?

CUBAN: No. It was good, I mean, tennis shoes all the time, right. It's just -- I have controlled my life and I get, you know. It's -- so I guess I've been able to tell other people what they need to do and not having to worry about them telling you what to do.

MORGAN: Let's take a break. Because of course one of the things you do as billionaire was you bought a basketball team, like you did. The Dallas Mavericks. Let's talk about sports when we get back.

CUBAN: Sure.

MORGAN: I want to know why sport business is winning. Is it the same in both? I suspect it probably is.


MORGAN: Literally knows about winning and business and sports pretty much anything actually he's Mavericks' owner of course Mark Cuban who's back with me now exclusively.

So let's talk sport. Why the Dallas Mavericks? How much do you -- you've gone to Dallas as a 22-year old. You were always in love to the place, I guess. Why basketball? Why that team?

CUBAN: I've been a basketball junk this long. As I can remember, five years old, and the very first season tickets I've ever owned for any team ever were the Dallas Mavericks. And I was a season ticket holder before I bought the team and they were horrible.

And so, one day, I was watching the game with then girlfriend, now wife, and I'm like -- it was the opening day, undefeated, I'm really excited, as right, and the place is in full, there's no energy in the building like "I can do better than this" and I was like, ding, ding, ding, and I was to put my money where my mouth is, found the owner, Ross Perot, Jr., made him an offer, he can't refuse and within two months, I owned the team.

MORGAN: She said like "Don't call the owner."

CUBAN: Yeah, basically. (Inaudible)

MORGAN: How does someone like Mark Cuban make someone offer they can't refuse?

CUBAN: Basically, I said, "Would you sell it to me?" and he said, "Yeah." I said," What's your price" and I didn't negotiate. I just wrote in the check.

MORGAN: Right away?

CUBAN: Pretty much.

MORGAN: You just said, "Here you are."

CUBAN: I said, "Yeah, let's do it" and then, you know, he was in the paper works. We had to do the paper work and...

MORGAN: And no haggling moment (ph)?

CUBAN: Not really. No.

MORGAN: You just said this is it.

CUBAN: It was the highest price paid for sports team. And he also have to realize that that point in time, I still -- the stock market was still crazy, right. This was January of 2000. So like -- like the day before, the stock -- my Yahoo stock went up enough but to pay for the whole team. And so, it was crazy. And so, I felt a little bit like funding money and I was just like, "why not?"

MORGAN: Has it been everything you hope it would be, owning the Mavericks?

CUBAN: It's different. It's a lot different. And when I saw it, it would be because I don't really own the team -- financially own the team, but all of North Texas owns the Dallas Mavericks, you know.

Being in business when you have a great quarter of your big company, don't let those afraid, you know. You get a little arc on the Wall Street Journal. People say great job, great quarter. When you win a championship, the whole city's on fire. I mean, when you're losing, everybody hates you. But, you know, in business, I've never got an e- mail from somebody saying, you know, my son has cancer, my daughter's sick and she really looks up for the Mavericks -- can we -- would you meet them? Would you spend time with them or even worse, you know, my son just died. You met him and took a picture with him. We're going to bury him in his dirk jersey, and you know, would you just send a little note that we can put in the coffin?" Which is -- that's so different than anything you find in traditional business. And so, you really have to learn very quickly. You're steward as much more than a business owner like you're on traditional business.

MORGAN: And lots of issues babbling around big professional sport in America right now, probably the leading one is this issue of gay players both in basketball and football and it will happen to every sport obviously. You know, Jason Collins, obviously a big ground breaking moment there. We've also got this young college player who's come out before he's even made the drop but yet. What is your view generally about this issue and sport in America given that so many people in the sports, themselves, feel so uncomfortable about it?

CUBAN: If for non-event, no. It actually literally is a non-event. Ever since Jason came out and it was it Robbie who's -- the MLS player, Robbie Rogers -- I forget his nickname and were friends is terrible. It's changed with radically how many states now allow gay marriage, you know, and people has become so accepted that it's a non- event and I think it's just in a span of 6, 12, months, it's changed dramatically and so...

MORGAN: Even in Arizona, this week, we've seen effort by lawmakers to kind of make it illegal again to just be gay, you know.

CUBAN: Right. I think that's crazy.

MORGAN: It was like you have to right to refuse to serve people if you do suspect them for being...

CUBAN: That's the craziness of politics. That's not the real feeling of the population. I mean, I don't -- you don't just -- just how we deal with people anymore just changed. I mean, people don't -- unless you're running for office and you really need to have a strong Republican constituency voting for you. Real people aren't that way. And so, I think we've really come to the point where in the real world and real life, we don't care and that's the beautiful thing to say, you know. And you don't -- you never run into people. It's not an issue. No one says to me -- no one has contacted me and say, "If you get a gay...

MORGAN: Is it generational?

CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: And in a sense anybody over 40 probably still has a slight hang up historically about this?

CUBAN: I think it's older than that.

MORGAN: Maybe say 50?

CUBAN: Yeah. Because...

MORGAN: Yeah, and certainly my generation, I don't think why (ph). It's probably 50, right?

CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: And anyone under 50 and certainly under 40...

CUBAN: Doesn't care.

MORGAN: ... just doesn't really care either ways. CUBAN: I haven't gotten any single even -- there used to be things where if -- so when -- after September 11th, whenever a player of any sports said something that was politically related, I would get a flood of e-mails. I'm never coming through a Mavs game if you do A, B, or C. I've never got any e-mails saying if you get a gay player -- and plus with Jason Collins, he played for 12 years. You know, he was showering with everybody after they play the game.

MORGAN: Nobody dies (inaudible), right?

CUBAN: Nobody died, didn't, you know, no one got checked out in the shower and had problems, you know. And so, he actually was the perfect guy to change everything.

MORGAN: What about guns in sport? A lot of NFL players in particular like to have the gun around them. And basketball turn (ph) off to a last night's game. The Knicks guard Raymond Felton was arrested on gun charges. And there's been a lot of these stories in the last couple of years. And obviously, I've had a -- the whole position about gun control probably because I'm not American and therefore don't quite see the culture in the same way, but what about that? What about the fact the sportsman believing they need a gun?

CUBAN: I think that's anecdotal. I think Raymond, it's unfortunate what happened. I don't really know the guy, but he was stupid, right? You know with -- at the Mavs, we make a point to ask all of our guys, do you want a gun? Is it registered? What states it is registered? You're not allowed to travel with it no matter what. We prefer you don't carry it in your car no matter what...

MORGAN: So, you've implemented your own version of gun control?

CUBAN: Well, it's not -- no, I don't want to make it seem like gun control already.

MORGAN: What would you call it? Gun safety regulations?

CUBAN: Gun safety. Yeah, just gun awareness.

MORGAN: Some safety rules.

CUBAN: That's right. We just want to make sure that whatever the rules are for the state we're in, we're following the rules and you're not traveling with it, whatsoever. Now, is it possible that one of my guys might do something that I'm not aware? For sure. You know, when you're dealing with 18 to 35-year olds, it is what it is, right? But as far as I'm concerned, as long as it's registered, as long as they're playing by the rules, as long as you don't travel with it, OK.

But take it on your car, and thinking you're at risk, if you're going to some place where you feel you need a gun, don't go there. And that's what I tell my guys.

MORGAN: If you took that attitude generally to America, if everyone had that in you, you must save a place.

CUBAN: I think so.

MORGAN: And that there's a quite sensible proposals. It's part of the problem calling it gun control. Do a lot of Americans hate that word "control?"

CUBAN: Yeah, because I think a lot of Americans feel threatened that their rights are being taken away. And gun control of the Second Amendment has become something that we feel intrinsically you have to fight for and I don't think guns are really the issue. I think it's more an issue of where we threatened by government and where do we feel at risk from government. And if you're going to fight back, what better amendment that you get rally (ph) behind in the Second Amendment. And so, I don't even think it's about guns. I think it's more about standing out and saying, "Look, you're going to have to pry it from my cold, dead hands because I'm protecting the constitution."

Do we need to do it to that extreme? I don't think so. But do I understand it, respect it, yes.

MORGAN: Let's take another break. Let's come back and talk about "Shark Tank." It's a huge hit.

CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: You're a huge hit on it. You're terrifying in many ways on that show.

CUBAN: No, not really.

MORGAN: No sharks are going to be fetching to you. And we'll discuss it after (ph).



CUBAN: In your particular case, the Shark Tank is about failing. It's about taking your business to the next level. You're about to talk all of America one of the biggest mistakes sales people make. When they have a deal in front of them, you should just shut up and take the deal


CUBAN: Instead of keep on selling and you kept on trying to sell.


MORGAN: Mark Cuban on ABC's Shark Tank zeroing (ph) in on some prey. It looks like he's being totally surprised here. Well, very Mark Cuban. We're also surprised but you were surprised, I mean...

CUBAN: I was shocked.

MORGAN: You're a very confident guy. Everything you touch basically turns to go. CUBAN: No, I was shocked. I went on their. Mark Burnett asked me to come on as a guest shark and I thought it's a business show, how long the business show has lasts. And then it kept on getting bigger and bigger. So, I went from being a guest shark to permanent shark. And now, in my third season I guess. And so, it's amazed me how well it's done. Now, it's become part of the right (ph) guys for the country. Everywhere I go, people don't want to talk basketball, they want to talk Shark Tank.

MORGAN: When I used to judge America's Got Talent, I can remember having to see through (ph) so much crap, for one of the better phrase, just waiting for the Nuggets. They did have amazing talent. You must have I guess the same experience with so much of the stuff you're being pitched is useless and the people pitching are useless, but then you'll get to somebody...

CUBAN: But do not necessary (ph) that's why I disagree, right? If not, you can't ever think that the people are useless. The beauty of the show...

MORGAN: As a business person.

CUBAN: As a business person.

MORGAN: Can they not be useful?

CUBAN: No, no. Because when you quit your life on the line, if you have the balls to say, you know what, I'm going to start this company. Every single person in this world has that one idea that they think is going to be brilliant and they get call excited and then they do nothing. The fact that they were able to stand up and do something with the idea, so they get credit, right? Now, when they...

MORGAN: And you see, a lot of time, I do agree with you. And every time I agree with you, so I remember -- again, doing America's Got Talent, I can remember they keep, no, I don't really admire you just the stand and they're telling me...

CUBAN: So, that would be different.

MORGAN: Auntie Nellie said you could sing because you can't...

CUBAN: But that that's just putting a...

MORGAN: And my job is to stop this dream dead any...

CUBAN: That's what you're thinking.

MORGAN: ... that's just never going to happen. I'm helping them by saying, you can't sing.

CUBAN: I don't disagree there. That's the thing.

MORGAN: So you must have some people with that you think you're no good? How do you link -- get out of business, don't be something else. CUBAN: Yeah. In my mind, it's completely different, right, because it's not just like, hey, I'm singing...

MORGAN: Probably why you're a billionaire or not.

CUBAN: No, you have to do so much just to start that business because you're not getting on the show unless it's a real business. So, unless at least to have a chance. Now, will I crash people? Yes, but not people who are putting good honest effort out there. If they bias me, if they're arrogant, if they're into something that I think is abusive or taking advantage, then I will nail that hell out of them, right? No problem doing that.

MORGAN: What is the kind of idea that you really love?

CUBAN: Something that's differentiated. Something that's unique. Something that can grow I think into something that's big. Those are my favorite.

MORGAN: What is the kind of idea that you really love?

CUBAN: Something that's differentiated, something that's unique, something that can grow, I think, into something that's big. Those are my favorites.

MORGAN: What kind of thing over the years, if you feel -- yeah, that that talk the shows about?

CUBAN: SURFSET Fitness is a perfect example. So this company comes in and once the former -- and the other -- his girlfriend and he wanted away to workout and also learn how to surf out of New Hampshire. We're going to learn to surf in New Hampshire in the winter.

So, he took a modified surf board, put it on these instability devices, and made this device that allowed you to learn how to surf indoors. And started going around and teaching classes. And it's just exploded since they were on the show.

And so, its something that can be anywhere. It's kind like zoomba as turned, you know, or slightly surf whatever the fitness cycling is. It's just exploded, right. And so, these guys have the chance to just explode. And they're growing, and growing, growing and people open up salons just with SURFSET Fitness in it. Those are the types of ideas that are completely out of left field. They busted their ass. And now they're making something of it.

MORGAN: Talking about left field, you're dancing?

CUBAN: That's far out of left field.

MORGAN: You know what?

CUBAN: That's what they took to shut me down.

MORGAN: You know why I'd like watching you on that show because it made me feel better about my dance.

CUBAN: I can't believe. Hey, I just have my hip replaced.

MORGAN: You know? You want that.

CUBAN: I had my hip replaced.

MORGAN: Jerry Springer was a lot worse than you.

CUBAN: Oh there's a lot, lot worse than me.

MORGAN: And I love Jerry but I have to discuss this with you.

CUBAN: So, right there is doing the waltz whenever it was. I just have my hip replaced and so I was like, "Please stay on one piece, please stay on one piece." And then, I do this jump at the end and then I landed and I didn't fall apart. And I was fired up. So, it was a more of victory.

MORGAN: Do you have even now, Mark, do you get, you know, those moments when you wake up in the morning, you know, late at night and some -- and an incredible idea comes to you?

CUBAN: Yeah. I hate it now. I hate it because I have so much going on that I don't have...

MORGAN: Giving the time (inaudible).

CUBAN: Yeah. I don't have that piece of dinner. It really takes a special motivation just to say, "I don't give a damn, I'm going for it" right. And you can't see bearers. People always say, "You're such a risk taker." I have to take a risk. You know, I do the preparation, I do the work, and then when you're prepared, you can bust through to any wall.

And I think I get those ideas and I think, "Oh my God, I should go for this," then I think I get soccer in the morning and I got other, other stuff.

MORGAN: And you're a father?

CUBAN: Yeah, that's makes it all.

MORGAN: Let's take a break and talk about fatherhood.

CUBAN: Sure.

MORGAN: I want to know what kind of dad you are. I suspect you're a smiling assassin.

CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: Son, I fully support you, son, if you come first.

CUBAN: Exactly.



M. CUBAN: The right of passage in the Cuban family, taking Jakers (ph) to his very first baseball game, right Jake? Yeah, that's good. Take off your tongue.

How old are you Jakers (ph)?

J. CUBAN: Four.

M. CUBAN: And when did you turn four?

J. CUBAN: Four.

M. CUBAN: Yesterday.


MORGAN: Family life, Mark Cuban's now, the Dallas Mavericks owner is back with me now. So you've got three kids now.

M. CUBAN: Yes.

MORGAN: Young Jake. You just called him the Jakenator.

M. CUBAN: Jakenator, yeah.

MORGAN: I mean, right. I mean, no pressure Jake.

M. CUBAN: Yeah, I did that.

MORGAN: And I bet you are. I would imagine that you're the kind of dad that wants to beat him, check his -- right? I mean you don't let people win easily, neither as your kids.

M. CUBAN: No, I do want to beat them. Actually Uno (ph), I'll kick his ass. Yeah, I mean, you know, I don't play...

MORGAN: (Inaudible)

M. CUBAN: Not so much. No, not so much. My dad work so much that we really didn't get many of those opportunities. But yeah, with my kids, when we compete on something like I have my daughter play basketball, I won't coach them, right, but I'll definitely encourage them.

It's fun. It's fun. I just try to have fun with them.

MORGAN: Because there will be a moment, as it been -- my three sons are older, 20, 16 and 13. And the two older ones, if only if you try to beat them at everything from the very early age, when they finally beat you...

M. CUBAN: They're going to rob it in (ph).

MORGAN: ... it means so much more.

M. CUBAN: Oh yeah.

MORGAN: That Mark, remember, table tennis, tennis, whatever...

M. CUBAN: Everything.

MORGAN: ... they never beat me at everything, but the moment when they knew they could take down their father...

M. CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: ... knowing I was trying my best, they love that.

M. CUBAN: Oh yeah, and you get to understand the competitive nature of your kids, too...

MORGAN: Right.

M. CUBAN:... which are more competitive, which, you know, how far you can push them and not push them because I don't want to be the overbearing dad. I want to be supportive. I want them to love what they do.

And I always tell them that when you get good at something, when you get really good at something, you'll like it a whole lot more.

But yeah, I don't want to be the over pushing, you know, do so much, I want them to pick what they like. But if they want to compete, I'll compete.

MORGAN: What do your parents make of your astonishing success given its completely self-made?

M. CUBAN: They cry. You know, I just let them do whatever they want, go wherever they want. And I mean, I think they're still stunned.

I remember when I was in high school. My mom worked for a real estate company and she got Bob Freidman (ph), the guy she worked for, to teach me a trade, to protect me, right. So I literally had to go and install carpet at this one commercial setting because she wanted me to have a trade just in case something quite didn't go right with my career.

I was the world's worst carpet installer, but there's somebody that's tripping over carpet in this little apartment complex to this day. But yeah, I mean, they're stunned.

MORGAN: And is being able to spend money on them and give them all the stuff they could ever dream off, is that one of the great pleasures...

M. CUBAN: Yeah.

MORGAN: ...of your life and your achievement? M. CUBAN: Absolutely, absolutely. You know, on one hand with my parents, it's wonderful. And on the other hand, it's the scariest thing ever with my kids because I don't want them to feel entitled. I want them to have to earn things. I'm not the dad that comes home with 30 presents to try to earn their love, right. I never buy them presents, ever. Like when it's time for the holidays and birthdays, I order some things the last minute at Amazon that comes already packaged and everything, I mean, I pick with love, of course, but I don't want them to ever think that this is just theirs and it's an entitlement.

MORGAN: My sons have to give me business plans.

M. CUBAN: Really?

MORGAN: Yeah, they want a jacket for a party, isn't it, they have to give me a business plan...


MORGAN: ... as to why I should agree to this.

M. CUBAN: My daughter wants a dog and I gave her a list of things that she had to accomplish and she got through it, and I was surprised and so now I said, "I need a plan" because she said, "Oh, I can do the responsibility, dad." I'm like, "Then put it together. Put together a PowerPoint for me that shows that you can, you know."

MORGAN: I think that's good for them when they do that.

CUBAN: I do, too. I do, too.

MORGAN: Let's make some think about money and why it doesn't involve entitlement.

CUBAN: And that, you know, my daughter came home not long ago and she said, "Dad, I'm mad because one of my friends came up with a business idea before I did. And so, you got to help me come up with a business idea now." And she was all excited then. You know, like any 10-year old, she got off and heard -- she was distracted, so get back on it.

But, yeah, I mean it's always exciting to me when my kids just come up with new ideas. Like any parent, you know, I just want them to find their own way.

MORGAN: I've avoided politics too much because I think it's -- it can be quite tedious and then as good as somebody like you, but on a widen note, leadership seems to be in a vague form of paralysis in Washington generally in the moment. When you look at as an American, what is the answer to get through all this?

CUBAN: I think we're in a transitional time. I mean, in an arrow where social media has changed, how media in general, right. It used to be there are three networks and there were seven networks, and then as long as you communicated through them, you can reach everybody. Now, people don't read the newspaper. They don't all watch the same news show. They, you know, there's the old saying that, "If it's important to me, it will find me".

And so, I think politicians are ignorant of how to use media right now. And because of that, they go to their comfort zones. And when everybody goes to different comfort zones, everybody bumps heads, and so, you'll see so much partisanship because it's the only way they see any results.

And so, I think we're going to go through this transition period. And as people get more comfortable on things sort out, I think we'll start to see stronger leadership because it will be easier to communicate because I don't care what kind of leader you are. If you can't reach the people you're supposed to be leading and communicate with them, it doesn't work.

MORGAN: It struck me that probably most people in Washington when they heard, what's that being sold in $19,000 billion. What is that?

CUBAN: Right.

MORGAN: And be -- how can that be worth that money? I guess you or other people going, that probably quite shaky...

CUBAN: Yeah. I mean it makes...

MORGAN: ...right?

CUBAN: ... perfect sense, right.

MORGAN: Right.

CUBAN: So in one hand, you have a...

MORGAN: Because you're familiar with that medium and how it will work.

CUBAN: And I use the app, right. I mean, look, if you're going to keep up with what's happening in the world today, if you're going to try to be a leader, if you're going to try have any impact on society, business, politics, wherever it may be, if you're not keeping up with what's going on from a technical perspective, you lost because, you know, the world isn't going to be run by people who control metal anymore.

It's not about bullets, it's about bytes. And it's the people who understand bits and bytes and programming that are going to have the greatest impact.

I'm not worried about the next Pearl Harbor and the Japanese dropping bombs there. I'm worried abut the cyber attacks. I'm worried about high frequency trading on our stock markets, things that you don't see coming until it's too late. And I think that's changing dramatically. And so, it's, you know, if you don't know what that is, you shouldn't be where you are. MORGAN: Why not put one in else's Snapchat, clearly because all my kids love it and like -- I'll tell all my friends.

CUBAN: It's interesting. So Snapchat is becoming a little social network. You know, I had all my problems wit the SCC and everything and so, I'm gearing people towards the zero footprint life, whether it's my kids, my business associates.

I actually had someone write an app called Cyber Dust. It's only on the Apple phone right now. And it's basically Snapchat protects. And my lawyers, my bankers, my brokers, that's how I communicate with them because I want it all to disappear in 30 seconds.

So Snapchat use so, you know, little girls and say "Look at my dress", or you know, "I'm going here. Here's -- I'm at a party. It's all over." And then it disappears and they don't want any record and they don't want anybody see, not because it's bad, but because it should be like a normal conversation.

MORGAN: Right. Exactly right.

CUBAN: You know, after the conversation, it's gone. And I think the same things happen with text. That's why I wrote Cyber Dust. That's why I think everybody's mode of communication is going to change. And WhatsApp, one, they get app example, Cyber Chats and other so, I mean, Snapchat, Cyber Dust, it's only going to happen more and more.

MORGAN: Well when we come back, I'll talk to you about the future. You only got it. You got the brain full of this, kind of thing.


MORGAN: I have a special guest, Mark Cuban. Let's talk gadgets and the features because you know all this stuff, right. What phones do you use?

CUBAN: I got two of them. I have my Samsung Note 3 which I like because it's big. I type, I get a thousand e-mails a day so let's me respond. And then I've got my back up phone, the iPhone, which I like because there's just certain apps that are only on the iPhone like Cyber Dust right now. Cycloramic (inaudible) everywhere. So there's all kinds of cool stuff. You got to keep up with everything.

MORGAN: You're a Mac guy or a PC?

CUBAN: All of the above. I mean I try to learn everything. I've got a Windows Surface Tablet. I've got a Mac. I've got a PC. You know, whatever it is. If I'm going to stay ahead, you know, there's always some 12-year old trying to kick my ass.

MORGAN: Go for it.

CUBAN: And I've got to stay ahead.

MORGAN: I do have 15-year old kid. He was kicking my ass on the show. He was brilliant. Smart guy. CUBAN: Yeah. Exactly. And so, I don't want to, you know, have a blank stare on my face when they start talking about tweets or whatever it is. And so, you have to try everything. And so, you have to be prepared.

MORGAN: What do you think the next big things are going to be in the world technology?

CUBAN: Sensors and personalized medicine. It's not even close. Right now, we put everything into Google and expect to respond. Those days are disappearing. There's going to be sensors on our skin. I've got companies I'm investing in that literally put a little patch on and it tracks from the moisture, from the perspiration, and from the heat, just all these different things that proactively tell.

I've got a company Motionloft that counts people in real time and be able to give you information, right, that you don't even know you need but will need rather you having to think what do I need and typing it into Google. That's what the near term big thing.

Long-term, it's personalized medicine. Our bodies are just math equations. And as processing gets faster, faster, faster, we can decode our DNA to the genomes, we can decode down to RNA protein levels.

And the concept that Jake, my four year old -- when he has kids, let's say, cuts and then his kids will go to the drug store and would take an allergy medication that has a warning that says "you might be the one unlucky fool that dies from this," will seem barbaric because instead his kids will go to the doctor, they will take a blood sample, whatever, or they already know from sensors and say, "We can tell that you're suffering from allergies right now." "Bam." Here, out of the 3D printer comes this pill or comes this lozenge (ph) or whatever it is or a patch to put on you that takes care of your allergies.

MORGAN: Amazing.

CUBAN: Yeah. It will be totally different.

MORGAN: What should I do brag, Mark Cuban?

CUBAN: Yeah. Whatever.

MORGAN: It's been great to talk to you.

CUBAN: Always fun.

MORGAN: Your book, "How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I can do it, you can do it". Yeah, right. And Shark Tank as on ABC, of course, 9 PM on Fridays. Great to see you.

CUBAN: Really enjoyed it.

MORGAN: Mark Cuban, remarkable man. That's all for us tonight.