Mark Cuban shocked the NBA world Tuesday by selling the majority share of the Dallas Mavericks to the Adelson family. It was unexpected, sending Mavericks fans reeling. The big question — why now? Cuban himself may have provided an answer to that over a week ago while appearing on the All the Smoke Podcast.
When asked by Stephen Jackson if he could see his son running the team one day, Cuban demurred, citing his age and the youth of his kids. “I wouldn’t put them through it,” Cuban said. That should have raised some eyebrows, as in the past Cuban said his kids would inherit the team.
He then goes on to drop a hint about why he sold to the Adelsons. “You’ve got to bring in some other investors that know real estate and development, because that’s where the money is going be coming from potentially,” Cuban said.
“You look at Golden State,” he continued. “How can they afford that? Because they own everything. Right? They do all the development around there, and you see what [Steve] Ballmer’s doing. The money they see coming in isn’t from the local TV deal, right, because Bally’s is falling apart. And I’m not a real estate guy, and I just want the Mavs to win, so if I have to bring in a partner who knows that shit, I’m fine with that. I just want the Mavs to win.”
The Adelsons absolutely fit the profile of the partner Cuban is describing. They own numerous casinos and resorts in the U.S. and internationally. If the future of making money in the NBA is through development of the area around an arena and synergizing it through an NBA franchise, the Adelsons would be the ones to turn to. It looks like that’s what Cuban has done.
What this holds for the future of the Mavericks is anyone’s guess. We’re two days into the post-Cuban era, and things won’t change fast (probably). Will it mean Dallas spends without regard like the Warriors? Or will they just become another development deal for the new owners? Only time will tell.