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Billionaire Mark Cuban has been in the news a lot as of late. Most people probably know him for 2 roles: Majority owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and a star on ABC’s reality TV series Shark Tank.
But the 65-year-old Pittsburgh native is seemingly exploring other options in life. Cuban is in the process of selling his majority share of the Mavericks.
He also has revealed that Season 16 of Shark Tank is going to be his final season on the popular show where entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to a “shark” like Cuban, one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs. Cuban’s net worth in 2023 is around $6.2 billion according to Forbes.
Is Cuban getting out of the sports business to eye a run for President of the United States in 2024? Not so fast. We look at Cuban’s history of endeavors and what his future may hold. Is it really in politics?
Mark Cuban: Eccentric Sports Owner
In January 2000, Cuban made one of the best investments of his career when he bought the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for $285 million. Cuban had already built up an impressive fortune from smart investments in the 1980s and 1990s during the boom of the internet (dot com) era.
In buying the Mavericks, Cuban put himself courtside and in the limelight for a team that would become one of the most successful in the league over the next 2 decades thanks to having Hall of Fame players like Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash. The NBA was also about to grow in popularity in the post-Michael Jordan era thanks to the arrival of superstar players such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry.
The TV deals would become more lucrative for the NBA, and in owning a top basketball team in one of the biggest markets in the country, Cuban saw the value of the Mavericks grow exponentially.
Cuban also tried to buy a stake in his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates at one point, but the deal never went through, so he’s been focusing his interests in the NBA until reports came out that he was looking to sell his majority share to Miriam Adelson, the 78-year-old businesswoman who is reportedly the 5th-richest woman in America at over $32.8 billion. She owns the Las Vegas Sands casino business.
Cuban could earn $3.5 billion in the sale of the Mavericks, an excellent return on investment from $285 million in 2000. While Cuban is selling his majority share, he would still keep an ownership stake and have day-to-day management of the team as it navigates the Luka Doncic era.
Mark Cuban just sold a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks for $3.5 billion. He bought the team in 2000 for $285 million. pic.twitter.com/Tj8WCn5duG— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) November 29, 2023
While some have speculated that Adelson will want to move the Mavericks to Las Vegas, that is unlikely to happen as Cuban has been devoted to Dallas, Texas for the last 23 years. But the sale to Adelson does suggest there could be a gambling tie-in to this move as he seeks a partner who could help him get to that goal.
Cuban Wants to Bring Gambling to Texas?
Cuban has expressed his desire to have a new arena in Dallas for the Mavericks that will be surrounded by a resort and casino. He wants to make Dallas a top tourist destination in the country not unlike Las Vegas is for Nevada, and that may be why he is selling to a heavyweight with power like Adelson.
With the Las Vegas Sands in her name, Adelson could have the resources to help build a casino culture in Dallas and the state of Texas. She can be an influential voice along with Cuban for the large state to finally adopt some gambling laws that we have seen succeed in other states across the country. Demand is certainly there for online gambling and in-person casino gambling.
The NBA itself has sponsorship deals with gambling companies, and sports betting is one of the fastest-growing revenue makes for states since PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018 to allow states the right to vote to legalize it. More than two-thirds have chosen to do so with more on the way.
So, getting Texas to adopt gambling and create a real tourist destination is the likely dream scenario for Cuban in this sale of the Mavericks to the Adelson family. He’s not going away from basketball, and he’s almost certainly not going to run for president in 2024.
Mark Cuban says he has "no plans" to run for president in 2024 https://t.co/rvQWYzVXIA— Axios (@axios) November 30, 2023
We’ve Had Enough Billionaire Presidents
Some have connected the dots here, but you can be certain that Cuban is not running for president. At least not in 2024. Cuban has hinted at a run in the past in 2020, though it is hard to tell if he was serious or being tongue-in-cheek.
Cuban has been outspoken about politics, citing the 2-party system as broken, and he certainly has never minced words about Donald Trump, the other former billionaire to hold the title of POTUS. Cuban has also been in support of a ranked-choice voting system.
Cuban is a well-known figure and could be a voice of reason to reach independents and undecided voters. But he is better off working in the capacity he has, including his online pharmacy company Cost Plus Drugs, which promises to get people the prescriptions they need at affordable prices.
But Cuban silenced the presidential rumors recently in an interview with Axios. He had said in the past that his family would disown him if he ran, but in a 2023 interview, he added that he would never run for elective office.
The only trip to the White House in mind for Cuban is going with Luka Doncic and the gang to celebrate an NBA championship win with the Dallas Mavericks.