He's as rich as ever -- wildly, billionaire, never-work-again-type-rich -- he owns a professional sports franchise, and he has his hands in a variety of interesting and possibly unsuccessful startup-type businesses, the rough equivalent of finally saving up enough money to own one's own sports bar. Except Cuban does this every day.
The only chink in this armor came in November of 2008. In a surprising announcement, the SEC revealed they were suing Cuban for insider trading -- you know this term thanks to Martha Stewart -- related to shares of his stock in Internet search engine company Mamma.com. Cuban reportedly sold around 600,000 shares just before the company announced a private offering.
None of these details are especially important; what matters is that Cuban momentarily seemed to exist on the same plane with the rest of us earthlings. The timing of the announcement also coincided with our entire financial system being blown to shreds; you could be forgiven for lumping Cuban in with the greedy corporate types many blamed for the banking downfall. Could Mark Cuban really go to jail?
No. A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit today. Cuban is in the clear. Which means one thing: it's back to all-charmed, all-the-time.
Cuban will now once again be the goofy basketball owner with some occasionally good -- and just as often half-baked -- ideas about the NBA. He'll be the guy doling out money to small companies for real-world (think of a small-town pizza company) start-up ventures. He'll be the guy writing sometimes insane things on his blog and popping up in Internet photos cuddling with 20-year-olds at nondescript college bars, and all will be right in Cuban's world again.
Like we said: It's OK to be jealous.