by Tzvi Twersky | @ttwersky

Deserved or not, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has acquired somewhat of a lousy rap. Over the course of his 11-year ownership of the Mavericks, he’s been accused of a lack of common sense, of insider trading and has lost over $1 million in fines  for actions or comments deemed inappropriate by the NBA.

But for every negative associated with Cuban’s name, there is an equal or greater positive. Just ask former NBA player Muggsy Bogues.

“I’ve never met Mr. Mark Cuban, but I tell people that I thank him more than life itself,” Bogues, 46, said recently over the phone from his home in Charlotte. “I had three years left on my contract when my mom passed away, and I decided it was time to move on [from basketball]. I walked away from the game with three years left on my contract. He (Cuban) could have easily just have bought me out of my contract, but he went on and honored it and paid the three years out and never looked back.”

Acquired by the Dallas Mavericks via a three-way trade in the summer of 2001, Bogues—bereaved over his mother’s passing—never suited up in a single game for the Mavericks. Still, Cuban agreed to pay the 5-3 guard the complete balance of his contract. That amount came out to $3, 617, 400 over the course of the three years years remaining.

To this day, Bogues finds himself rooting for Cuban and the Mavericks—not just because of the money, but because of the owner’s kindness.

“I was never able to thank Cuban in person for that, but I do thank him,” said Bogues.

“And I’m happy the Dallas Mavericks won the Championship. That’s a great organization.”

Additional reporting by Dan Shapiro