SBD/Issue 150/Franchises

Mavs’ Cuban Still Focused On A Championship After 10 Seasons

Cuban Says He Has Money, But
Not A Championship
Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban’s “youthful appearance, drive and exuberance have changed little" since he bought the team in January '00, but with “two straight first-round playoff ousters, the on-court returns for Cuban’s millions were diminishing” entering this season, according to a front-page piece by  Brad Townsend of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. This season marks the Mavericks’ ninth consecutive playoff appearance, but Cuban “recalls finishing in the black only twice during his tenure,” and according to Forbes’ figures it has “happened only once.” Mavs President & CEO Terdema Ussery noted that the Mavericks “consistently rank among the NBA’s top four revenue producers, despite ticket-price decreases” in parts of American Airlines Center the past four years. The team “consistently exceeds the NBA salary cap, usually dramatically so,” and according to Forbes’ numbers, the Mavericks “lost $13.6[M] last year, largely because of their $103[M] in player salaries and bonuses.” Cuban said, “Depending on where the economy goes, we’ll have to make adjustments. But I’ve got money. I don’t have a championship.” Cuban is “still the public face of the franchise, but he notes that he gives considerably fewer in-depth interviews,” and if he “has something to say, he prefers to do so through his blog.” Cuban emphasized that his “commitment to the franchise hasn’t changed, but admits that losses don’t weigh on him as long as they did before he had daughters Alexis and Alyssa.” Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki said of Cuban, “We don’t see that much of him anymore. I remember when he first bought the team, he was all over us” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/23).

AT ALL COSTS: Cuban said the team has "lost money most of the years. … I think we’ve made money two years.” But he added, “I’d just rather win than make more money. I’ve got money.” Cuban: “I want to win for myself, the city, the players, that’s just my goal. Now, how we do it is the hard part. It’s not always just about spending money, so we’ve got to try to figure it out.” Meanwhile, Cuban said of his relationship with other owners, “The ones that are active and involved, I get along great with. The ones that aren’t, I don’t.” Cuban also said he is “just as committed” to the team as when he bought the franchise. Cuban: “I just don’t get as upset after losses like I used to. … I’ve kind of mellowed out in terms of in-games” (DALLASNEWS.com, 4/23).

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