For the record, Brian Cuban is the brother of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Even though Brian has un-friended me on Facebook and anywhere else we used to be friends, I still consider him to be a friend and don’t wish anything bad for him.
I do find it sort of strange how people react sometimes, but this story is not so much about friendships as it is how different people can become friends and end that friendship on the internet.
Brian and I became friends when we were both members of the website Digg.com. In fact, Brian goes in to pretty good detail about how we used to work together on Digg. I was pretty amazed really at how Brian was accessible to the general public on the internet. I figured brothers of billionaires would be somewhat more reclusive, but to Brian’s credit he was very accessible (and I assume he still is), and so that was the basis and the start of our friendship.
I always tried to view Brian just as a friend like I would any other person. I never tried to act like he was any different than any of my other friends. I have never made friends with anyone based on how much they had or didn’t have, and I wasn’t about to start now. I did get some glimpses on how difficult it must be for people like Mark or Brian Cuban to always have people asking you to do stuff for you. And i think that was a key issues with the friendship with Brian and myself.
Brian and I used to play the Digg.com game and it was actually fun gaming Digg to see how many hits we could get on that site. If you aren’t familiar with Digg.com, this won’t make much sense to you, but trust me when I say Digg was very addictive and we all had a blast gaming the system. We both got banned from Digg about the same time so we and lots of other Digg cast aways went to Facebook. That’s when things started to change with our friendship. Of course Brian has his blog, and I have mine at https://lewp.wordpress.com and I think we were like recovering alchoholics just trying to get used to life without Digg. I emersed myself into my blog and really thought I could write and substitute my internet time to my blog isntead of slamming stories for Digg.
Brian and I would go to lunch occassionally as he lives close to my work. I always enjoyed our lunches together and I would always feel honored to have a good friend sit down and shoot the breeze together like Brian and I would do. It was then that I realized on Facebook that if Brian so much as sneezed, he would get a jillion comments. I wondered if people were commenting on his posts just to be seen or did they really have something interesting and sincere that was relevant?
Was I guilty of the same mistake as that? I had asked Brian to come by our college where I work to make an appearance. I think that may have been a mistake. When people met Brian, they sort of automatically wanted to talk about Mark, which I thought “I bet brian gets pissed about hearing that all of the time.” But in another way, Brian makes no bones about talking about Mark himself alot of times, so I wasn’t real sure how Brian felt about that. I also often thought Brian went in to this “keeping his guard up” mode to people asking him for stuff that was associated to Mark and the Dallas Mvericks et al and I was guilty as anyone about that too. I bet if I were Brian Cuban, I’d get tired as hell of everyone talking about my brother instead of seeing me.
And that’s really why I can’t be mad at Brian even though he chose to discontinue our friendship. Brian has lots of great qualities as a friend. He is an admitted alcoholic, and on his blog the Cuban Revolution, has the guts to tell his story to that fact. He is an accomplished writer and really and truly is a likeable guy. I will say Brian was on a small list of friends that called me after my heart attack to check on my status and I truly appreciated that.
After recalling that, I feel bad now for our last communication. I was a dummy and tried to do a favor for my boss at work. My boss asked me if perhaps he could get a picture of his son posed with Mark Cuban autographed along with a basketball to which I said “sure, i can ask Brian to ask Mark.” That was a huge mistake. I guess it was pretty presumptiouson my part, I just didn’t see any harm in it, but then after the fact, I wondered how many hundreds or thousands of times had Brian heard a request like that? I fell in the trap that I said i wouldn’t do and that was asking Brian for a special favor. At any rate, after about 3 months, I asked Brian about the items for my boss, and that’s pretty much where it all ended. I won’t go into to details about what was said because it’s not relevant to the story. The bottom line is, what I thought was a simple request was something I shouldn’t have asked of Brian.
So we all live and learn. As I have said, I don’t wish anything bad for Brian. From my stand point, he’s still a good guy. What I have learned though is when you are friends with a billionaires brother, you have to be very careful about that friendship and you have to be hyper-sensitive to that friendship and think before saying anything.