Whatever you think of rapper J. Cole, there’s no denying that he’s a force to be reckoned with.
While he does have a legion of vocal detractors, his fans are just as passionate. One of those fans is Dennis Smith Jr. Both Smith and Cole hail from Fayetteville, North Carolina, so their relationship is one of friendship and mutual admiration. You can find Cole sitting courtside from time to time watching Smith play. However, if we believe Cole, he wants to be on the sidelines a lot more, possibly taking his relationship with Smith to another level.
In the song “Album of the Year (Freestyle),” Cole drops hints to his future plans. Over the beat to Nas’ 2000 hit “Oochie Wally,” he raps, “Shout out Oak Cliff, I’m about to fly to Dallas/Decade from now, I might just buy the Mavericks/What up, Mark Cuban?”
Insert white guy blinking gif here.
That’s a bold proclamation from Cole. While Jay Z once held a minority share in the Brooklyn Nets, no rapper has outright purchased an NBA team. NBA ownership has strictly been the domain of rich white guys—some of questionable moral character—and Michael Jordan. Could Cole really pull off such a feat and be the one signing Smith’s checks in 10 years?
When Cuban purchased the majority stake in the team from H. Ross Perot Jr. in 2000, he paid $285 million. He was able to purchase the team after Broadcast.com was bought by Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in Yahoo! stock. Now, according to Forbes, the Mavericks are worth $1.9 billion and are the ninth most valuable NBA franchise. Meanwhile, Cuban’s net worth is currently estimated at $4.9 billion.
In 2017, Cole’s net worth was $15 million, according to a quick Google search. That’s nowhere near enough to purchase the Mavs right now. Remember, though, this is a 10-year plan. Things could be very different in a decade. For one, the value of the Mavericks is likely to be higher.
For the purposes of this post, let’s assume that the Mavericks’ value increases to $2.5 billion in the next 10 years, which could be a low-ball estimate. This means that Cole needs to increase his net worth by 16,000 percent in order to have just enough money to buy the team. He would then have no money. Of course, he only needs to buy a majority stake in the team so he likely won’t need to pay the full $2.5 billion. Maybe Cuban will be willing to take a deal like the late Don Carter and be a minority partner.
While it seems unlikely, let’s assume that Cole somehow buys the team. What kind of owner will he be? Believe it or not, his ownership style might resemble Cuban’s. They aren’t so different, after all. Both rose to prominence thanks to their online prowess. They’re both savvy entrepreneurs. And now, both are very much into outsourcing with Cuban asking fans to design jerseys and a court and Cole soliciting fans on Twitter for beats. The similarities are surprising. However, there’s no word yet as to whether Cole plans to build a new arena for the team as Cuban has stated he intends to do.
J. Cole has a long road ahead of him before he can honestly entertain the thought of buying the Dallas Mavericks. He might not even want to become the owner if Dennis Smith isn’t in Dallas in 10 years. (Too soon, I know.) It’s fun to imagine, though. And, on the bright side, Cole is at least one millennial who has future financial aspirations beyond merely surviving.