Pay It Forward: Mark Cuban Loans Plane To J.J. Barea To Fly Supplies To Puerto Rico

Mark Cuban, outspoken owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, loaned the team plane to J.J. Barea to fly supplies to Puerto Rico, which has been devastated by Hurricane Maria. Barea, who signed to the Mavs as an undrafted player in 2006, has spent the majority of his career in Dallas and is just the seventh Puerto Rican to play in the NBA.

Hurricane Maria is the latest in a series of powerful storms that have wrought destruction across the Caribbean and parts of the United States. Harvey hit Houston, Irma hit Florida, but nowhere has been more profoundly affected than Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, which made landfall on September 18th.

The Weather Channel doesn’t mince words, nor are they prone to hyberbole. The situation truly is dire.

More than a week later, the island and its 3.4 million residents are still without power.

Cuban is one of the league’s most interesting owners. He’s a courtside mainstay at Mavs games and arguably the most entertaining character on Shark Tank (it’s a toss up between Cuba and Mr. Wonderful AKA Kevin O’Leary). Cuban’s days as a TV star pre-date Shark Tank by a decade, though. He’s compiled an IMDb page more impressive than most actors, but the only thing you really need to know is that he made a cameo in Walker, Texas Ranger back in 2000.

He’s also been fined at least $1.6 million by the NBA for no fewer than 13 different incidents. Let’s just say he’s not afraid to run on the court to yell at the referees, but it ain’t trickin’ if you got it. Cuban matches all his fines with donations to charitable causes. Also, he was one of only two owners (the other being Paul Allen) who voted against the relocation of the Seattle Sonics to Oklahoma City. Sometimes being a contrarian is a good thing.

There’s nothing combative about lending your plane to an employee in need. Mark Cuban has a big mouth, but he’s also got a big heart. He makes the NBA a more interesting place, and bet that J.J. Barea will never forget Cuban helping him out as long as he lives.