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Mark Cuban says sale puts Mavs in ‘better position to compete’

DALLAS — Mark Cuban beamed about forming a “great partnership” hours after the NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of the Dallas Mavericks’ majority stake to the families that run the Las Vegas Sands casino company, a deal that will allow Cuban to continue to manage the franchise’s basketball operations.

The deal was approved Wednesday, just under a month after the families of Miriam Adelson, Sivan and Patrick Dumont announced plans to buy the club. The purchase is valued at more than $4 billion, sources told ESPN.

“Nothing has really changed other than my bank account,” Cuban said after completing his 3-point shootaround on American Airlines Court about two and a half hours before Wednesday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers . “I feel really good. I think it’s a great partnership. It’s what the team needed on and off the court. I’ll still oversee the basketball side of things, but having a partner like Patrick , Sivan and Miriam and their ability to build and redevelop the arena and everything that comes after that puts us in a much better position to compete. That’s it. That’s what it comes down to.

Adelson is the widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Patrick Dumont, Adelson’s son-in-law and president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands, will serve as governor of the Mavericks.

“The State of Texas has always been friendly to our family and we look forward to being able to repay that kindness. I am excited to spend time cheering on the team and meeting members of its passionate fans,” Adelson said in A declaration. “Wherever we have a business presence, our top priority has been to empower our team members and engage meaningfully with the local community. I look forward to bringing the same commitment to Dallas and the greater DFW area.

Cuban will retain a 27% ownership stake in the Mavericks and serve as the team’s alternate governor. He acknowledged that there was “no contractual language” in the purchase agreement regarding his authority over basketball operations and that ultimately Dumont would have the “final say” as governor of the team.

However, Cuba hopes the Dumonts and Adelsons will focus on the franchise’s business interests, which include a long-term plan to build an arena that would include a resort hotel and casino. Cuban said the arena would be built within Dallas city limits.

“We look forward to partnering with Mark Cuban as stewards of this great franchise and bringing another NBA championship to the city of Dallas,” Patrick Dumont said in a statement. “We are committed to the long-term success of the Mavericks and providing a world-class hospitality experience to our fans, players, employees, sponsors and partners.”

Cuban doesn’t expect Patrick Dumont to be heavily involved in basketball personnel decisions.

“He basically said, ‘Do what you have to do. I want to win,'” Cuban said. “I mean, financially, we’re in a much better position this afternoon than we were yesterday afternoon to be able to compete like that. So what did (Houston Rockets owner) Tilman (Fertitta) say about the being a middle-class billionaire? These are facts these days. It’s really important. So having the partnership and potentially having new and bigger revenue streams allows us to compete better. I have a lot talked to Patrick, as well as Miriam and Sivan, and they are determined to win.”

Gambling is not legal in Texas, and efforts to legalize it face great difficulty. However, Miriam Adelson has not hidden her desire to introduce casino games to the Lone Star State.

She pumped more than $2 million last year into a political action committee, called Texas Sands, that made generous donations to state lawmakers and flooded the GOP-controlled Capitol with lobbyists. She separately gave another $1 million to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

But the spending blitz has failed to achieve a breakthrough this year in the Texas Legislature, where resistance to casino legalization runs deep.

Texas already has a billionaire NBA owner who is a casino operator, Fertitta, who also supports bringing casinos to his home state but has seen lawmakers reject the idea year after year.

Cuban said he would be “as active as necessary” in lobbying for gambling to be legalized in the state.

“I think it’s the right thing for the state of Texas,” Cuban said, touting the economic benefits. “Could you imagine building the Venetian in Dallas, Texas? It would be insane. It would change everything.”

News of the Mavs’ sale broke last month, hours after Las Vegas Sands announced that Adelson was selling $2 billion of his stock to buy an unspecified professional sports team.

Cuban said he could have sold the team for a lot more money, but that it was important to him to find partners who could increase the franchise’s revenue base, alluding to the uncertainty of agreements with local television as a major challenge to its ability to finance a competitive team. . Cuban also sees it as necessary for the majority ownership group to be willing to allow him to continue running basketball operations.

“Because that’s what I love to do, but I’m also realistic and I’m also self-aware, right?” said Cuban, who has been involved in personnel decisions since purchasing the franchise for $285 million in January 2000. “I know what I’m good at. When I first bought the team times, I knew more about technology and the internet and all the streaming and everything than anyone else in the NBA. And so I had a real advantage there. Now all that, 23, 24 years old later, it’s not the advantage anymore. … The advantage is what you can build and where “And you have to have someone who is really, really, really good at it. And Patrick and Miriam, they’re the best in the world at what they do – literally in the whole world. And so when you get a partner that can step in and grow your revenue base, so that you’re not dependent on the things that you were in the past, that’s a huge win.

“They’re not basketball people. I’m not real estate people. That’s why I did it. I could have made more money selling it to someone ‘other, although obviously I’m really excited about everything. But it’s a great I’ve known these guys for a long time. They’re great at the things I’m not good at.

While the 65-year-old intends to continue making basketball decisions, the sale comes as he steps away from the popular business reality show “Shark Tank” after a 16th season next year.

Cuban was a highly visible owner almost from the day he bought the team in 2000. He never hesitated to speak his mind, for many years meeting with reporters while training on a camera. exercise before most home games.

The NBA has fined Cuba millions of dollars over the years, often for his criticism of officials but more recently for his comments about tanking during draft picks.

Dallas was one of the worst franchises in professional sports in the 1990s, but became one of the best under Cuba, with the help of star forward Dirk Nowitzki, now a member of the Hall of Fame of basketball and team leader. who won the 2011 NBA championship.

A self-proclaimed basketball junkie and Indiana University graduate, Cuban is almost always on the court for Mavericks games. That will continue, as Cuban anticipates Adelson and the Dumonts will occasionally attend games but not be as visible as he is.

“They’re not going to be out here screaming,” Cuban said. “It’s not them at all. That’s why it’s a good partnership. They’re not me, and I’m not them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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