Mark Cuban’s Mavericks sale: What we know — and don’t know — about the deal

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The extremity of nan Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban era, 1 of nan astir influential and memorable tenures successful sports since it began successful 2000, has been approved.

On Wednesday, nan NBA’s different 29 owners voted unanimously to authorize Cuban’s waste of nan franchise to nan families who tally nan Las Vegas Sands corporation, led by Miriam Adelson and her son-in-law Patrick Dumont.

“We look guardant to moving successful business pinch Mark Cuban arsenic stewards of this awesome franchise and bringing different NBA title to nan metropolis of Dallas,” Dumont said successful a statement. “We are committed to nan semipermanent occurrence of nan Mavericks and delivering a world-class hospitality acquisition for our fans, players, employees, sponsors and partners.”

Here is simply a summary of what we know, what it intends and what questions remain.


What do we cognize astir nan sale?

Cuban sold nan Mavericks for a value successful excess of $4 billion, which includes nan franchise and its assets specified arsenic buildings and land. That fig is nan team’s valuation, and it determines nan magnitude nan Adelson family paid to acquisition nan controlling liking successful nan team. News first collapsed of nan waste aft nan Sands corp announced successful November that Adelson, its apical shareholder, was trading $2 cardinal successful banal to acquisition a master sports franchise.

Dumont will service arsenic nan Mavericks’ governor, but Cuban, who retains 27 percent of nan franchise, believes his beingness and hoops effect will look akin to nan 1 he has now. While he concedes location is “no contractual language” guaranteeing this, Cuban says he will proceed overseeing nan franchise’s hoops operations.

How will Cuban’s continued domiciled successful hoops operations work?

After an on-court shooting convention earlier Wednesday’s location crippled against nan Cleveland Cavaliers, Cuban said to reporters and described his continued domiciled pinch nan franchise arsenic a “partnership.”

“It’s not for illustration I person a statement and a occupation and I get a salary,” he said.

As nan team’s governor, Dumont will person nan last opportunity successful decisions, but Cuban emphasized his learned hoops acumen from his 23 years arsenic owner.

“They’re not hoops people,” he said. “I’m not existent property people.”

Cuban referenced “middle-class billionaires,” saying nan franchises that person spent heavy successful nan past decade person mostly shareholders who are moreover wealthier than him and his $4 cardinal estimated nett worth. Forbes estimates Adelson’s nett worthy astatine $33 billion.

“They fundamentally said, ‘Do what you gotta do, I want to win,’” Cuban said.

While Dallas paid nan luxury taxation successful Cuban’s first 9 seasons successful charge, nan squad has only paid it erstwhile since then. (That 1 objection came past season.) Since Nico Harrison’s hiring arsenic wide head successful 2021, Cuban, while remaining actively involved, has had a lighter power complete decisions than successful nan past, according to squad sources granted anonymity truthful they could speak freely.

By ceding mostly ownership of nan franchise, Cuban cannot guarantee his domiciled moving nan team. But he said he believes, successful nan arena of a early disagreement betwixt himself and Dumont complete nan team’s direction, that they “would activity it out.”

Why did Cuban determine to waste now?

Cuban’s image, 1 wherever he posits himself arsenic an approachable billionaire who’s conscionable for illustration you successful each measurement but his slope account, has ever been tied profoundly to nan Mavericks and his public-facing fandom. In 2016, Cuban said he would ne'er waste nan team.

“I’m turning down anything,” he told Bill Simmons erstwhile appearing connected his podcast. “What do I request $3 cardinal for?”

When reminded of that connection Wednesday, Cuban simply said, “Things change.” He said it was nan correct determination for nan Mavericks and unrelated to his near-simultaneous determination to time off ABC’s “Shark Tank” aft this coming season.

Cuban besides described himself arsenic personification not adept successful what he considers nan NBA’s early financial direction. “I wanted to beryllium nan tech guy,” he said. “I raised hellhole connected technology.” But arsenic streaming services person replaced cablegram television, and, successful turn, section broadcast rights, nan convention is quickly moving toward alternate gross streams. (The NBA’s existent media-rights woody expires aft nan 2024-25 season.)

Beyond that, we don’t cognize for definite why Cuban decided now was nan correct time. Multiple squad sources opportunity they person nary logic to judge Cuban’s determination to waste his mostly liking successful nan Mavericks is simply a precursor to a time-consuming governmental endeavor specified arsenic a statesmanlike run, thing pinch which he has agelong flirted.

Whatever nan reasons, Cuban surely has much financial liquidity than before.

“Nothing’s really changed isolated from my slope account,” he said.

Mark Cuban, center, poses for a photograph pinch Miriam Adelson, left, and Sheldon Adelson successful 2017. (Chase Stevens / Las Vegas Review-Journal / Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Why is Cuban trading to nan Adelson family?

Cuban was incentivized to waste to nan Adelson family, arsenic opposed to different imaginable buyer, because they would let him to stay progressive successful hoops operations.

“I could’ve gotten much money trading it to personification else,” Cuban said.

One of nan galore ways Cuban has influenced nan NBA — and North American sports successful wide — is that he normalized nan conception of a public-facing politician actively progressive successful their franchise. Another buyer, 1 consenting to salary much successful an unfastened bidding process, mightiness person been personification looking to travel successful Cuban’s footsteps without his continued involvement.

Who is Miriam Adelson and what is nan Las Vegas Sands Corporation?

Adelson, whom Forbes calls nan 45th richest personification successful nan world, is nan widow to Sheldon Adelson, who built his wealthiness arsenic a casino tycoon — first successful Las Vegas and later successful Asia — earlier his decease successful 2021.

From The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov:

The Adelsons were among nan astir salient Republican donors for years and were high-profile supporters of Israel and Jewish causes successful nan United States. They were important donors to Donald Trump’s 2016 statesmanlike run and she was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom successful 2018. Birthright Israel, a group that sponsors trips for group of Jewish practice to Israel, said nan Adelsons had contributed astir $500 cardinal complete 15 years earlier reducing backing past year.

Miriam took power of Las Vegas Sands Corp., aft Sheldon’s death; Adelson and a family spot successful her sanction ain 57 percent of nan institution according to a institution filing pinch nan U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

While nan Sands corp nary longer operates immoderate North American-based casinos aft trading The Venetian Las Vegas successful 2022, nan business conglomerate operates respective edifice casinos successful Singapore and Macau. Adelson’s portfolio besides includes 2 newspapers, nan Las Vegas Review-Journal and Israel Hayom. Her son, Matan, purchased nan Israeli-based hoops squad Hapoel Jerusalem this summer.

“The authorities of Texas has ever been friends to our family, and we look guardant to being capable to repay that kindness. I americium excited to walk clip cheering connected nan squad and getting to meet members of its passionate instrumentality base,” Miriam Adelson said successful a statement. “Everywhere we person a business presence, our apical privilege has been to empower our squad members and prosecute pinch nan section organization successful a meaningful way. I very overmuch look guardant to bringing that aforesaid committedness to Dallas and nan greater DFW area.”

Dumont, on pinch his wife, Sivan, is nan different family personnel progressive successful nan purchase. The team’s caller politician is Adelson’s son-in-law and president and main operating serviceman of nan Sands corporation.

“They’re bully people, they’re committed to Dallas, they’re committed to winning, they’ve sewage awesome hearts,” Cuban said. “I’ve known them forever.”

Will Adelson and nan Dumonts beryllium visible astatine Mavericks games?

Cuban said nan Dumonts will apt be a Dallas location crippled successful January, but it’s improbable Adelson will subordinate them. Cuban, who said he will service arsenic nan team’s alternate politician while he remains a number owner, will stay a visible beingness pinch his emblematic courtside spot adjacent to nan team’s bench.

Is location immoderate chance nan Mavericks are moved to Las Vegas?

No.

Las Vegas is seen arsenic one of nan NBA’s 2 likeliest description cities, on pinch Seattle, thing which seems apt to hap this decade. But nan NBA wants to create a caller franchise successful Las Vegas — and nett nan hefty description interest that would travel pinch that — not move an existing 1 there. And it surely doesn’t want to move an established franchise located successful nan country’s fifth-largest media market.

Why is nan Adelson family buying nan Mavericks?

Both Cuban and nan Adelson family person been transparent astir their communal liking successful legalizing sports gambling successful Texas. Cuban believes it is nan gross watercourse that will switch broadcast tv rights, saying, “It’s different guidelines of gross that wasn’t there.”

In precocious 2022, Cuban first mentioned nan Sands corp arsenic a imaginable partner for his imagination of an arena built wrong a destination edifice casino successful Dallas. Several squad sources opportunity nan 2 parties had been engaged successful superior conversations astir nan team’s waste since early 2023.

“It was two, 3 years agone I started talking astir a casino and a destination resort,” Cuban said. “I told you guys then, I wasn’t going to beryllium nan 1 to build it. It makes consciousness that (if) personification is going to travel successful arsenic a partner and put perchance billions of dollars, they’re going to want equity.”

Perhaps it’s cynical to compress nan Adelson family’s purchasing liking successful nan Mavericks to this origin alone. Undeniably, though, legalizing gambling successful Texas is an liking of nan Sands institution that Adelson and nan Dumonts represent.

“Look closer, and you’ll find that Israelis and Texans person a heavy affinity,” Adelson said earlier this month successful an reside to nan Texas Association of Business, nan state’s largest business lobby. “It runs deeper than business, though commercialized ties betwixt Texas and Israel are genuinely booming. And it moreover runs deeper than basketball, though my family are immense fans of nan Dallas Mavericks.”

Through a governmental action committee called Texas Sands, Adelson has spent much than $2 cardinal since 2020 to money authorities legislators and prosecute lobbyists wrong nan state’s long-entrenched Republican government. Adelson besides donated $1 cardinal to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s re-election run past year.

What’s nan erstwhile and wherever of nan projected arena?

The Mavericks’ lease astatine nan American Airlines Center, its existent location successful nan Victory Park vicinity adjacent downtown Dallas, expires connected July 28, 2031. But nan imaginable process of rehoming nan team, of course, would request to statesman agelong earlier that.

Cuban said nan projected arena — that is, nan resort-casino thought that would see nan hoops venue — would beryllium built wrong nan metropolis limits of Dallas. The Adelsons, who would beryllium down specified a monolithic development, person not made immoderate specified guarantee.

Earlier successful December, D Magazine’s Tim Rogers reported that nan crippled erstwhile holding Texas Stadium, nan Dallas Cowboys’ erstwhile location successful nan Dallas suburb of Irving, was purchased by an entity named Village Walk RE 2 LLC, which has a payer number that shares a mailing reside pinch nan Sands corporation.

What would it return for legalized sports gambling successful Texas?

In May, nan Texas House of Representatives passed a measure that would legalize online sports betting but postponed a ballot that would let casinos aft it became clear it lacked capable support to scope a two-thirds majority.

But nan Texas Senate declined to see nan online-betting measure that did pass, and legislative experts opportunity some would look uphill likelihood if they were put to a Senate vote. It would besides require a statewide voter-approved law amendment.

The push to legalize gambling successful Texas not only has nan monetary backing of nan Adelson family and nan Sands corporation, but that of different proprietor of a Texas-based NBA team: Houston Rockets’ politician Tilman Fertitta. While Fertitta’s businesses ain casinos successful Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi and Louisiana, his section efforts to legalize gambling successful Texas person failed.

Cuban said he would beryllium “as progressive arsenic (he) needs to be” to assistance measures that would lead to ineligible gambling, saying, ​​”I deliberation it’s nan correct point for nan authorities of Texas.”

“Could you ideate building nan Venetian successful Dallas, Texas?” he said. “That would alteration everything. Having personification for illustration U2 aliases whoever, a large set aliases act, arsenic a residence? That’s insane.”

For now, however, sports gambling remains forbidden successful Texas for nan foreseeable future.

— The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov contributed.

(Photo of Mark Cuban: Sam Hodde / Getty Images)

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