Mark Cuban, one of the NBA's most well-known and successful owners, is selling a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks to Miriam Adelson and the Adelson family. Earlier Tuesday, it was reported that Adelson was selling $2 billion worth of Sands stock to fund the purchase of a professional sports team. Now we know which team she had in mind. The deal values that team in the range of $3.5 billion, according to Shams Charania.
The deal will be structured in an incredibly unusual way. Cuban will retain some shares of the team, and despite no longer being the team's majority owner, he will retain full control over basketball operations. While Cuban is currently the team's owner, his top basketball executive is general manager Nico Harrison. Cuban has always been incredibly hands on as an NBA owner, and will seemingly remain very involved in how the Mavericks operate.
The Adelson and Dumont families (Miriam Adelson's son-in-law Patrick Dumont is set to be part of the new ownership group) released the following statement:
"The Dallas Mavericks are one of the world's most successful and recognizable sports franchises. The team has won an NBA championship, has a long history of attracting international superstars and has been supported by a dedicated and passionate fanbase and leadership group led by Mark Cuban.
"The Adelson and Dumont families are honored to have the opportunity to be stewards of this great franchise. Through our commitment and additional investment in the team, we look forward to partnering with Mark Cuban to build on the team's success and legacy in Dallas and beyond. The goal is to win and to have a team that proudly represents the greater DFW area and serves as a strong and valuable member of the local community. We believe that with this partnership and our commitment to the team, the community and the fans, the future is bright for the Dallas Mavericks."
The Adelson family said it hopes the deal -- which is subject to NBA Board of Governor approval -- is completed by the end of the year.
Cuban bought the Mavericks in 2000, and ever since, they have been among the NBA's more successful teams. Dallas has missed the playoffs only five times under Cuban's stewardship, and his teams have reached the NBA Finals twice including a championship in 2011. Cuban also became one of the league's more controversial owners in that time, frequently criticizing officials and earning hefty fines from the league office.
The Adelson family is very prominent in Las Vegas, which makes their decision to purchase the Mavericks all the more intriguing. Las Vegas has long been rumored as a possible target for expansion, but competition for a franchise there will be steep. LeBron James has publicly pushed for the chance to own an expansion franchise there after his retirement, so perhaps the Adelsons viewed the chance to buy the Mavericks as an opportunity for a certainty that might not exist in Las Vegas.
Regardless, league ownership has now seen several significant changes within the last year. Robert Sarver's sale of the Phoenix Suns has given the NBA its most aggressive new owners in years, Mat Ishbia. Michael Jordan's sale of the Charlotte Hornets in the offseason removed the only former player from the league's board of governors. Now, one of the league's more prominent governors, has cashed out as well.