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The Mark Cuban No Excuses Policy for Breaking Into Sports

When Mark Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks, they went from NBA laughing stock to perennial winners literally overnight. (Check the win-loss record for the year Cuban bought the team. It will blow your mind.)

One of the many things Cuban brought to the organization that helped turn it around was a “No Excuses” policy. What made this powerfully effective is that he applied this policy to himself as the owner.

He created a physical environment in which the team would work where they would have “No Excuse” for losing. He paid the team very well, brought in specialty coaches, well-known chefs, nutritionists, personal masseuses, custom-made cushions for the bench, giant luxury towels, video games with flat screens in each locker and a private Dallas Mavericks jet to travel in.

Keep in mind: at the time, no other team in the league was doing this for their players. (Some are today.) The team was totally taken care of in every facet of their lives. They even had their very own team chaplain in nationally-known pastor Dr. Tony Evans.

The players knew very quickly that the owner was invested, both financially and emotionally, in meeting their needs. In turn, the team took on the same “No Excuses” policy when it came to performing and contributing their own assets to the organization. This “No Excuses” policy has worked beautifully, resulting in 50-plus wins for 11 (going on 12) consecutive years––a modern era NBA record.

Like the Mavs, you need to create a “No Excuses” environment where failure is not an option. But it’s not necessarily about creating a luxury environment like the Mavericks have. It’s really about creating an effective environment for you as an individual, where you can operate like a true professional.

Only you know what the right place with the right vibe feels like. It’s got to be a place you want to go everyday and build something meaningful. It can be as simple as a desk in your room, the local library, or even a coffee shop.

The most important thing is that you treat it like a sacred workplace, much as Eminem did with a place he called his “Lab” on 8 Mile Rd. There, the rapper created an environment—in a trailer park, no less—where he could dream, visualize and write rhymes that would eventually be heard (and paid for!) by millions.

Eminem was on a mission. So are you.


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7 Responses to The Mark Cuban No Excuses Policy for Breaking Into Sports

  1. jmatthicks February 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Though I respect how much he cares for and invests in his team and his city, I cannot stand Mark Cuban. As a pretty mild-mannered home-grown San Antonio boy, Cuban has said some harsh things about the city and it’s people that left the realm of basketball trash talk and became personal.

    I’ll always give credit where credit is due; the guy knows how to support his team and to build a competitive team each year, but until his team can translate 12 years of 50+ wins to 1 year of an O’Brien trophy, he really should stop being so brash and disrespectful.

    Just my 2 cents in addition to a great article, Chris.

  2. ChrisMcKinney February 24, 2011 at 10:17 pm #


    Here ya, JMatt. I happen to enjoy good, healthy trash talk. It’s part of the game; I see it as kind of a creative outlet that can add value if you can get in your opponent’s head.

    But I have to agree, if it gets too personal, that’s over-the-line. Until Cubes brings home the hardware, he will probably continue to bash the Spurs and the city. Kind of pathetic. If you notice, it’s always the losers who hit below the belt, not winners.

    We will see you in the playoffs. Should be fun.

  3. TylerHartz April 5, 2011 at 11:59 pm #


    I believe Mark Cuban is from Pittsburgh. He is a great entrepreneur and an even better competitor and that is why he is so successful. I would be curious to see what he could do with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  4. JMattHicks April 6, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    @TylerHartz Right. I was unclear in that sentence as I was referring to myself being from San Antonio, not Mark Cuban. My apologies 🙂

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