Billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, has been known to shoot his mouth off on occasion. He recently took aim at US companies who shift their domiciles to countries like Ireland to reduce their tax bills, describing them as "unpatriotic" and "economic deserters".
This week it emerged the businessman and television star had been embroiled in a row over a collection of runners with a rapper called Fat Joe.
According to Fat Joe, he and Cuban went head-to-head bidding for a collection of Air Jordans. Cuban landed them with a knockout bid of $500,000 (€373,000).
According to Fox Sports, Fat Joe claims that afterwards Cuban “goes up to me . . . and he tells me, ‘Fat Joe, guess what?’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘I’m gonna throw it in my closet with the rest of the stuff.’
“I wanted to punch Mark Cuban in the face,” Fat Joe reveals. “You motherf***er. I’m over here thinking, ‘This is it. This is like the Picasso of sneakers.’”
Cuban has yet to give his side of the affair. Too busy analysing the complexities of Irish taxes, perhaps.
That said, Cuban is a canny businessman who has backed many entrepreneurs and created many jobs. Notably, he was an early investor in Soundwave, a fast-growing Dublin- based music-discovery app. Other investors include Act Ven- ture Capital and Enterprise Ireland.
Cuban may have put less into Soundwave then he spent on his runner collection, but his endorsement has helped the Irish start-up get on the map.
Yes, Cuban likes to stir things, but he also puts his money where his mouth is when he sees a good idea.