Surprising news hit the NBA world on Tuesday when Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced he would sell his majority stake in the team. Cuban sold his stake to Miriam Adelson of the Las Vegas Sands Casino corporation. According to The Athletic, the deal is rumored to be worth 3.5 billion dollars. The deal also came coincidentally after Cuban announced he would step away from his hit show Shark Tank. The news came as a shock to the NBA community. Cuban was arguably the most famous and recognizable owner in the league. However, it’s important to note that once the sale is finalized, Cuban will remain a minority shareholder and will have control over basketball operations. Given Cuban’s long-time involvement with the team and league, it makes sense for him to stay with the team. Let’s analyze the impact of this move.
What Mark Cuban Selling His Stake in the Dallas Mavericks Means
Cuban originally purchased the Mavericks in 2000 for $285 million. Over the past 20 years, Cuban helped transform the Mavericks from a laughing stock to a respected franchise, winning a 2011 title with Dirk Nowitzki in the process. He created incredible memories around franchise stars Nowitzki and later Luka Doncic. The Mavericks are estimated to be the seventh-most valuable franchise, and it’s crystal clear Cuban increased this value. Cuban’s original purchase of $285 million, compared to the sale of $3.5 billion, further proves how he elevated the Mavericks’ value. Cuban netted 3.2 billion in the process.
Additionally, Cuban fundamentally changed what it means to be an owner, increasing public appearances and speaking his mind on any issues around the league, all while building real relationships with his players. For the most part, NBA owners take a back seat. Of course, they all have strong impacts; however, very few are as active and outspoken as Cuban. In the mid-2000s, Cuban’s popularity grew along with the Mavericks’ success. He established himself as a prominent figure in the NBA and an influential owner. Ultimately, he helped pave the way for outspoken player-first owners such as Steve Ballmer and Mat Ishbia. Going forward, involved owners like Cuban will likely be the trend.
Adelson owns the Las Vegas Sands Casino corporation. Forbes listed Adelson as the 35th wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $32 billion. Adelson’s Sands Casino company is a Nevada-based casino and resort company. However, the majority of the resorts are in Asia. Adelson also launched casino games and entertainment in Dallas. Adelson’s net worth and connection to the city made her the ideal buyer for Cuban.
Furthermore, Cuban has expressed interest in expanding the casino presence in the Dallas area. Last year, Cuban told the Dallas Morning News: “My goal, and we’d partner with Las Vegas Sands, is when we build a new arena it’ll be in the middle of a resort and casino.” This quote makes the Adelson deal even more perfect. It’s important to note that these changes would require state changes as sports betting and commercial casinos are currently illegal in Texas. However, given the current trends, these laws are likely to change.
The Basketball Impact
From a basketball perspective, it’s worth considering how Cuban will adjust to his new role within the front office. It’s rare for owners to transition into this role while still having a minority stake in the team. However, Cuban has been a pioneer for years, which could work perfectly. Cuban has clearly been one of the smarter owners about basketball issues, so this role could fit him nicely. There are few owners for whom this move would make sense; Cuban is one.
Cuban will work alongside Nico Harrison, who has established himself as a high-quality player-first general manager. My biggest concern is how the Mavericks’ future is somewhat dependent on Kyrie Irving. While the Mavericks are off to a hot 11-6 start, their long-term future feels fragile. Irving has proven to be a loose cannon, and if things go south, he could ask out at any moment. His history of injuries makes this more concerning. If things go wrong with him, Cuban would have an incredibly difficult situation with Doncic on his hands. However, this remains a what-if for now. Ultimately, Cuban’s basketball mind and experience make this role change worth the risk. If it works out, maybe this will create a larger trend.