Mark Cuban makes a strategic billion-dollar move, selling a majority stake in the Mavericks to the influential Adelson family of Las Vegas Sands

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In a surprising turn of events, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has decided to sell a majority stake in the franchise to Miriam Adelson and her family for an estimated valuation of $3.5 billion. This strategic move, marked by Adelson’s sale of $2 billion worth of Las Vegas Sands Corp. stock, signifies a shift in ownership dynamics for the Mavericks, a team synonymous with Cuban’s bold and outspoken leadership over the past 23 years.

Cuban, however, retains a significant share in the team and retains full control of basketball operations, a rare arrangement in professional sports. This deal comes at a time when the NBA is embracing sports betting, making it particularly intriguing that the family of one of the country’s largest casino tycoons, the late Sheldon Adelson, is stepping into the realm of team ownership.

Miriam Adelson, listed as the 35th-richest person in the world by Forbes, brings considerable financial clout to the table. Her estimated net worth of $32.3 billion and ownership of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which reported $2.8 billion in revenue in the third quarter alone, positions her as a formidable force in both business and sports.

The connection between Cuban and the Adelsons extends beyond this transaction. Cuban expressed his intention last year to partner with Las Vegas Sands Corp. to develop a casino and resort in Dallas, a project that aligns with Adelson’s late husband’s expertise in real estate and arena development. The prospect of launching casino gaming and entertainment in Dallas likely played a pivotal role in Cuban’s decision to sell to the Adelson family.

Miriam Adelson’s ownership of the Mavericks makes her the third woman to be the principal owner of an NBA team, joining the ranks of Jeanie Buss of the Los Angeles Lakers and Gayle Benson of the New Orleans Pelicans. This landmark move reflects the growing diversity in NBA ownership.

The Mavericks’ sale, however, bucks the trend of continuously rising team valuations in recent years. Despite being based in the fifth-largest media market and having a successful track record with notable players like Luka Doncic, the team’s valuation did not surpass recent deals, including the Hornets ($3 billion), the Bucks (25 percent stake at a $3.5 billion valuation), and the Suns (majority stake at a $4 billion valuation).

Cuban’s decision to part ways with the franchise may come as a shock to fans who have seen him as the face of the Mavericks for over two decades. However, his unique arrangement, maintaining control of basketball operations, hints at potential new endeavors on the horizon. As the NBA landscape evolves, this unprecedented move by Cuban and the Adelson family marks a significant chapter in the league’s history, blending the worlds of sports, business, and entertainment.

(Source: Dallas Morning News | The Athletic)

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