Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban appeared on ESPN's "NBA Countdown" on Wednesday before the network's doubleheader that included the Mavericks' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
He talked about the Mavericks' slow start to the regular season not changing the goal of winning another title and said he believes this Mavericks team can be better than last season's NBA champions:
"We've just got to make the playoffs, that's all I really care about. Honestly, I was telling people if we're 10-10 I'll be thrilled to death. And if we were 5-15, I wouldn't have been shocked, because you can't just walk into a season and be ready, particularly if you're a team that bases its defense on precision and team defense, and its offense off ball movement.
"If you're young, your legs are always in shape, and if you're an athlete, and you just run by people and jump over people. I think that's why you saw the more athletic teams get off to great starts and the more 'team' teams struggle a little bit.
"I'm always win now, but you don't destroy the future. I think you can do both, and that's what we've tried to do.
"Yeah, we've lost some great players, and yet at the same time we kept a lot of good players, we kept Dirk, JKidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, so we lost ... but kept basically our top four. So by adding Vince Carter, by adding Lamar Odom, by adding Delonte West, I think literally we can be, I think we are a better team.
"When you go out on the road, people are gunning for you, they want to take on the world champions. There are more Mavs fans in the road arenas, and that amps guys up, and our players know it. Coach [Rick Carlisle] talks about it all the time, you have a target on your back, and you've got to step up, but at the same time we can't lose track of the overall goal.
"You've got to recognize who you are, what you need to accomplish and where you're trying to go. We've got a plan and we're sticking to it."