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On The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy had a absolute babble with Dallas Mavericks buyer Mark Cuban. Cuban discussed activity as a billionaire, his success as a businessman, Luka Doncic’s absurd play, how Dirk Nowitzki is allowance Doncic ability his abounding potential, the NBA’s mid-season clash idea, how he’d fix NBA officiating, the time he faced Nowitzki in one-on-one and more. You can acquire to the abounding account aloft or apprehend a transcribed adaptation below:
You bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285 actor in 2000. Now, Forbes estimates that the Mavs’ appraisal is about $2.4 billion. You’re abundant at forecasting this stuff, but aback then, did you anytime anticipate we’d get to this point breadth your Mavs would be account over $2 billion?
Mark Cuban: Honestly, I didn’t alike care. I didn’t buy it with the abstraction that it was an affectionate asset. I aloof bought it because I adulation basketball and I capital to acquire fun with it. It never alike beyond my apperception what it may or may not be worth.
You’ve talked about disturbing to accomplish ends accommodated in your 20s, bistro ketchup-and-mustard sandwiches and sleeping on the attic as one of six attached in a three-bedroom apartment. How did experiencing those boxy times advice you accomplish success later?
MC: I mean, aback your aback is adjoin the wall, you apprehend that you acquire to dig in and get things done. You can’t aloof acquire it like, “Okay, this is the way it is, aggregate is kosher. It’s no big deal.” It sucked. (laughs) I had fun and I was admiring my life, but cipher brand sleeping on the attic and not accepting your own closet or drawers. It was nasty. That absolutely motivated me. That kept me alive and pushing. And aback then, alike on Shark Tank, it absolutely helps me chronicle with entrepreneurs and it helps me admit acceptable entrepreneurs. The best entrepreneurs are the ones who acquire had their aback adjoin the bank and who acquire accomplished abortion and the affliction scenarios because that motivates them. It motivated me and, now, it helps me admit that activity in added bodies as well.
In 1990, afterwards you awash MicroSolutions for $6 million, you briefly absitively to retire at 32 years old. A lot of bodies dream of accepting affluent and backward young, but you acutely didn’t break retired long. What was aboriginal retirement like and what did you apprentice from that experience?
MC: It was fun! (laughs) I awash the company, bought a lifetime canyon on American Airlines and my ambition was aloof to biking and affair like a bedrock star. And I got absolutely acceptable at it! I aloof capital to acquire beers and booze with as abounding bodies as possible, and that’s absolutely what I did. I aloof catholic and afraid out. I got a abode in Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles, took acting classes and met people. I aloof had fun, accomplishing whatever I could to adore myself. Then, I started dating a babe and came aback to Dallas. We bankrupt up, but I affiliated with one of my academy buddies, Todd Wagner, and the internet was aloof starting to happen. Todd was like, “Mark, you’re a tech geek; you had that networking aggregation that you awash and you’ve accounting software, so can you bulk out how to use this internet affair and acquisition a way for us to acquire to Indiana [Hoosiers’] basketball games?” I was like, “I can try.” That basically led to me starting AudioNet with Todd and that finer was the alpha of the alive industry.
You’ve said that you were affluent afore you were cool rich, but airing me through that aboriginal moment as a billionaire and that aboriginal anniversary breadth you can basically buy whatever you want.
MC: It was surreal, aloof like it is now. You apprehend that you acquire added money than you could anytime possibly dream of and it’s article that doesn’t assume real. Alike today – every day – aback it hits me, I’m aloof like, “Oh my God. How the hell did this happen? How is this possible?!” I’m self-aware abundant – or at atomic I anticipate I am – that I apperceive allotment of this was from adamantine work, but a big block of it was luck. I aloof try to acknowledge it and not booty it for accepted and not let it blemish me or my kids.
What are the bigger misconceptions about actuality a billionaire?
MC: I don’t know, I assumption it’s not article that I’ve anticipation about. I assumption if I had to aces something, it’s that everybody thinks that money changes you. And it can, in a lot of respects, but it doesn’t have to. Alike aback I was dead-a** bankrupt and sleeping on the floor, I was blind out with my accompany and aloof accomplishing whatever. Well, those guys are still my aforementioned accompany now. We’re earlier now, but we still do some of the aforementioned brainless sh** that we acclimated to do aback afresh – aloof like anyone aback they get calm with their friends. I anticipate the bigger delusion is that accepting that abundant money has to change you and in a big way. Like with anybody else, accepting added money than you did aback you were bankrupt changes you some, but it doesn’t acquire to change you a lot and I anticipate that’s the bigger misconception.
The hardest part, really, is aloof ambidextrous with accompany aback it aboriginal happens. They’re the ones who aren’t absolutely abiding if you’re activity to be the aforementioned actuality or how you’re activity to act. They’re wondering, “Are you consistently activity to aces up the analysis or alone sometimes activity to aces up the check?” It’s a little bit of an acclimation period, but your accurate accompany break your accurate accompany and I’ve been adored in that way.
I’d brainstorm that activity out in accessible has to be crazy too. I’m abiding abounding bodies appetite to angle you their ideas, abnormally with the success of Shark Tank. What’s it like actuality bombarded with so abounding pitches?
MC: I mean, it’s a acceptable botheration to have. Let me aloof say: Shark Tank is now on Friday nights on ABC – I acquire to get that bung in there. Tune in, it’s great! (laughs) But yeah, it’s a acceptable botheration to have. I get pitched everywhere – from the urinals to restaurants to Mavs amateur to walking bottomward the street, you name it. It’s accessible for me to aloof say, “Email me.” Or I’ll acquaint them, “You acquire 30 seconds, accord me the elevator pitch.” If it’s somebody that I anticipate is sincere, afresh I’ll accord them a accepted response. If I anticipate somebody is aloof aggravating to booty advantage or not actuality aboveboard in some way, afresh I’ll aloof say, “I can’t do it.” But, again, I can anticipate of far worse problems to have!
Reading your interviews, it’s bright how abundant your ancestors agency to you. You’ve said, “If I was single, I’d run for president.” You’ve additionally said that you were absorbed in purchasing the Pittsburgh Pirates aback you were single, but now you appetite to absorb added time with your children. How did starting a ancestors change you as a actuality and as a businessman?
MC: It’s afflicted me so much; it’s night and day. Your priorities change. Aback my kids were little, they weren’t absolutely bodies yet. (laughs) They were affectionate of mommy’s kids and it wasn’t as impactful yet. But as they’ve gotten earlier and got to be 7, 8, 9 years old – and now they are 10, 13 and 16 – you see that they’re absolute bodies and they acquire absolute personalities and they’re unique. They’re my babies, so spending time with them has become a priority. I’m advantageous because I don’t acquire to accent about bills, I don’t acquire to anguish if they’re activity to about-face my lights off afresh and actuality like that, which I had to anguish about in the past. I don’t acquire to anguish about money and I can set my own schedule, so I try to absorb as abundant time with them as I can. The adamantine allotment isn’t me aggravating to acquisition time to absorb with them, the adamantine allotment is acceptable them to absorb time with me – as every ancestor knows. (laughs) It’s been fun. And in agreement of how it afflicted me from a business perspective, I attending at account and things from the angle of, “How is this activity to appulse my kids, and is there an befalling there for them in the future?”
If you woke up tomorrow and had an boilerplate 9-to-5 job that didn’t pay much, but you still had all of your knowledge, what are some things you would do in adjustment to put yourself in a bigger position financially?
MC: I’d apparently get a job alive as a bartender at night, aloof to accomplish abiding I had abundant money to accomplish ends meet. During the day, I’d apparently alpha a aggregation that did Alexa, Cortana and Google Home installation, configurations and customization for people. Added and added bodies acquire an Alexa or Google Home in their house, but cipher knows how to absolutely configure them to accomplish them assignment well. I could go out there and allegation $25-to-$50 an hour to do that. It’s not adamantine to learn; it’s absolutely accessible to break abreast with that, but best bodies aloof don’t do it. I could additionally do that for businesses and, now, Alexa is actuality put in cars so there are means to set up scripts for that. I anticipate that would be one affair that I did. And I absorb a lot of time aggravating to apprentice and accept as abundant as I can about bogus intelligence. I’d apparently alpha a commutual business or, as allotment of my aboriginal business, I’d advice baby businesses administer bogus intelligence because it’s absolutely adamantine for them to do. Best of them don’t accept it and they can’t allow to do it by themselves.
You’ve said that blank bogus intelligence appropriate now is like actuality in 1999 and not actuality able to use the internet. Do you see similarities there?
There’s no catechism that afterwards you bought the Mavericks, you pumped assets into the authorization and absolutely bigger the team’s culture…
MC: We had this big German guy who helped out a lot too. (laughs)
Yeah, he was decent. But you bought a new aggregation plane, assassin a agglomeration of abettor coaches and upgraded things like the locker allowance and Jumbotron. How abundant of an advantage is it for a aggregation to acquire a abundant buyer with abysmal pockets?
MC: I mean, it makes a difference. It’s not so abundant about accepting a abundant owner, you aloof don’t appetite to acquire a bad one, you know? (laughs) I’d say that 90 percent of the owners in the NBA are absolutely good. But the absoluteness is that it’s not alike about accepting abysmal pockets, it’s added about actuality accessible to new account and accepting a alertness to absolutely dig in and learn. This bold isn’t easy. It’s hard to win a championship. If there was a template, anybody would aloof do it. So few teams absolutely win a championship and it takes so abundant luck. I aloof don’t anticipate bodies apprehend how advantageous you acquire to be. The Mavs acquire been in the activity I-don’t-know-how-many times aback the alpha of the authorization in 1980, but we’ve never confused up. Not one time! Afore I got here, the Mavs had the affliction almanac in the NBA assorted times, but they’ve never in the history of the authorization gotten the No. 1 pick. And alike if you get the No. 1 pick, you allegation to acquire it at the appropriate time. Michael Olowokandi. Unless you’re an old-school basketball fan, you aren’t alike activity to bethink him! There are so abounding abandoned No. 1 picks, so it takes a lot of luck. Actuality a acceptable buyer is important and you should be advanced and booty the time to apprentice the bold and the business, but alike then, luck is added important. But the added ancillary of that is you can’t spiral it up. Once you get lucky, can you accomplish it assignment and not spiral it up?
The Mavs’ chain stands out to me – whether it’s Rick Carlisle actuality your arch drillmaster for 12 seasons or Dirk Nowitzki arena all 21 years of his NBA career in Dallas. You don’t see that affectionate of constancy actual generally in today’s NBA. How important is chain to you as an owner?
MC: Corporate ability is important and the best that a aggregation is able to comedy together, the bigger they accept anniversary other. Attending at the Spurs; they’re a absolute archetype of chain arch to success. We try to do the aforementioned thing, in a lot of respects. But you still allegation to acquire talent. The aftermost three years, pre-Luka, we had some aptitude but not abundant and we were arena for activity assurance added than we were arena for championships. As atrociously aching as that is, that’s us aggravating to access our allowance to get lucky. In agreement of continuity, [you want] guys who acquire played calm for an continued aeon of time. Aback Jason Terry, Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki absolved out assimilate the cloister together, they knew how to comedy calm and what the others were accomplishing and how they anniversary admired to play. That added a lot of bulk and that helped us win a championship. That chain fabricated a huge aberration and hopefully we’ll be able to abide it with these guys we acquire now. I anticipate we acquire a abundant basis with Luka and KP and Timmy Hardaway Jr. and Seth Curry and Maxi Kleber and Dodo (Dorian Finney-Smith). These are guys who all acquire best affairs and hopefully will be calm for a long, continued time.
You acutely believed in Luka Doncic abundant to barter Trae Young’s abstract rights and a 2019 adequate first-rounder to Atlanta to acreage Luka. But at what point did you apprehend that Luka could potentially be a once-in-a-generation talent?
MC: Apparently 10 amateur into the approved season. We saw some amazing things aback he was in Europe, obviously. You don’t aloof win MVPs and championships at 17 and 18 years old in the world’s second-best alliance and not be amazing. Then, we saw a lot of abundant things aback he came in and formed out above-mentioned to the abstract and played pick-up. I mean, he was aloof dominating. But you still don’t know; there are a lot of guys who appear into the NBA with a lot of aptitude and you get aflame about them, but you aloof don’t apperceive until you absolutely see them in NBA regular-season games. Then, there’s a accomplished altered akin in the playoffs that we haven’t apparent with Luka yet. But aback we saw him in those aboriginal 10 games, you could aloof see that he was special. I aloof didn’t anticipate that it would appear calm this bound for him. Acceptable Rookie of the Year and afresh demography addition breakthrough bound advanced this year? That’s a attestation to not alone Luka’s talent, but additionally his alertness to assignment hard.
When you hit on a absurd amateur like Luka in the draft, how does that analyze to advance in a aggregation that takes off? Is it a agnate rush?
MC: Yeah, it’s absolutely a turn-on. (laughs) It’s like, “Oh my goodness!” The affair about owning a basketball team, I can’t be the one who makes the jump shots. In a approved business, I can go abutting the accord or address the software or configure the network. I can do a lot of things that acquire a absolute appulse on a business accord or on the aggregation in general. In basketball, I can’t do that. It’s not like I’m activity to airing assimilate the cloister and be like, “Alright guys, I got this. You guys move over.” There’s so abundant added accent complex in owning a aggregation because you aloof don’t apperceive how your abstract picks or trades or free-agent signings are activity to assignment out until it’s too late. It’s anon out of your control. So aback you get a amateur like Luka, there are aloof moments breadth you aloof agitate your arch and laugh. Michael Finley sits abutting to me at our home amateur and you’ll see me aloof accurately him on the chest aback Luka makes an absurd play. He’ll accomplish an absurd canyon or he’ll get to the bassinet and accomplish a layup and you’re like, “How did he alike get to the rim there?” In moments like that, or aback we win a big game, I aloof agitate my arch and smile and think, “It’s about time we’re aback to breadth we appetite to be.” Because as abundant fun as acceptable is, accident is alike added stressful. It’s about like you acquire to force yourself not to do things aloof to abstain losing. Activity aback to your question, what’s the blitz like aback you acquire a once-in-a-generation talent? It’s great. But it’s not a complete blitz because you still haven’t gotten the arena yet.
Are there any takeaways or things that you abstruse from Dirk’s outstanding career that you can now use to advice Luka ability his abounding abeyant and aerate his success?
MC: Absolutely. It’s not alike me, it’s Dirk himself who communicates and is there with Luka. Dirk came bottomward for Luka’s 21st altogether affair in Miami and we had a lot of fun. I anticipate the No. 1 affair is discipline. The conduct with diet, workouts, stretching, demography affliction of your body, alive on your game, accepting the reps in, accepting shots up and watching film… Those are all things that are appropriate to get to the abutting akin and I saw that with Dirk. Dirk at 20 years old was one way and Dirk at 28 was absolutely different. I bethink aback I bought the team, I asked him what he ate afore amateur and he said, “… Snickers bars.” By the time he was 8, 9, 10 years in, he was at the point breadth he wouldn’t acquire any amoroso or absurd foods or booze during the division – that akin of conduct went to addition level. It’s not that Luka is activity to acquire to be the exact aforementioned way, but Luka has ample out what all abundant players bulk out: That your success and after-effects are anon accompanying to the bulk of time and accomplishment you put into alive on your bold and the conduct you acquire to do the things that appulse your body.
You’ve been abrupt about the NBA’s mid-season clash idea. What are some of your apropos about the NBA’s angle to add a mid-season clash and change the breadth of the division to 78 games?
MC: Put abreast the 78 amateur because that’s a altered affair and it’s not a big accord one way or the other. You can accomplish up four amateur in agreement of a play-in or whatever. I’m not necessarily adjoin to 78 games, I aloof acquire to see the specifics. But aback you feel like you allegation to acquire an in-season clash because you feel it’s bare to accomplish the alpha of a division or the early-grind-it-out genitalia of a division interesting, you’re finer adage that afterwards this, the amateur aren’t interesting. To me, that’s never a acceptable affair in business. You never, anytime appetite to say, “Well, my product’s not as acceptable this time of year as it is in that time of year, so we’re activity to aroma things up.” That’s not the case and that’s never acceptable business in my mind.
You’ve talked about how NBA admirers are younger, so they’re generally cord-cutters who watch on amusing media and streaming. Do you feel like the mid-season clash abstraction is an overreaction to the NBA’s ratings?
MC: I don’t alike anticipate it’s a acknowledgment to the ratings, I aloof anticipate they’re aggravating to actualize absorption aback there are 1,000 bigger means to do that. I anticipate we accomplish the aberration sometimes of attractive at football as an analogy. We anticipate because there are alone 16 games, anniversary one of those amateur beggarly added and aback anniversary one of those amateur beggarly more, bodies may added attention. I don’t anticipate that’s why bodies watch football at all. Because there are aloof some bad teams and, alike then, if you attending at some of the appearance issues for some of those bad teams, it’s not like bodies are assuming up to games. It’s aloof that football is the easiest activity to watch on television and you brace that with fantasy sports, which gives bodies addition acumen to watch. In football, there is 12 account of activity in a two-and-a-half hour game. So aback you’re “watching” football, you don’t absolutely acquire to watch football. You can be accomplishing 20 things at the aforementioned time – attractive at your fantasy aggregation or blockage your emails or talking on the phone. You can do whatever and not alike absence a play. It’s aloof the attributes of the game; it’s 12 account of attention.
With basketball, it’s 48 account aback you’re watching a bold live. That’s a claiming in a apple breadth two abnormal afterwards Luka makes a step-back, it’s a highlight that’s on Instagram and YouTube. Our claiming is that kids are growing up and they’re so acclimated to things actuality on Instagram and Tik Tok, to a assertive extent, and Snapchat and YouTube. They aren’t accomplished to advance the time to watch an absolute game, like the way we accomplished aback growing up. It’s not necessarily as big of a botheration in football because you affectionate of apperceive aback the play-clock is about to run out, so you can pay absorption appropriate afore the comedy starts, afresh go aback to accomplishing 20 added things. Whereas, again, with basketball, sometimes it’s easier to aloof analysis out the highlights. That’s what my 10-year-old son does. I’ll acquire the bold on and he’s almost advantageous absorption and afresh two account later, that aforementioned comedy is a highlight on YouTube and he sees that. How that translates from a business angle is that we at the NBA allegation to bulk out a bigger way to monetize that attention. In the aftermost 10 years, let’s say, it’s been all about alive broadcasts on TV and, to a bottom extent, live-streaming games. Now, a lot – if not best – of the burning of our amateur by bodies 34-and-under is online and on streaming, so we acquire to acquisition a bigger way to monetize that.
I apperceive you acquire a lot of thoughts about how the NBA hires and trains its refs. If you were put in allegation of revamping the action of hiring and training refs, what are some things that you’d change?
MC: This is very, actual simple: I’d accompany in bodies who are professionals at hiring and training. That’s it. We acquire none. Aloof because you’re abundant at selling, that doesn’t accomplish you a abundant sales manager. Aloof because you’re a abundant reporter, that doesn’t accomplish you a abundant administrator or editor. You can aces any industry; if you’re abundant at accomplishing the primary job in that industry, it doesn’t beggarly you’re activity to be abundant at managing bodies aural that industry. We never abstruse that assignment in the NBA and that has bulk me a lot of money. But it’s an accessible change and one of the aboriginal things to change.
Dirk said that aback you aboriginal bought the Mavs, you challenged him to one-on-one. That seems like the ultimate advantage that comes with owning a team. Dirk said you were a appealing acceptable ballista and that you denticulate adjoin him, but afresh he got accursed up and dunked on you.
MC: I denticulate two times! I exhausted him 2-1 because afterwards he dunked on me, I quit! (laughs)
(Laughs) I was activity to ask if you remembered that game.
MC: Oh, hell yeah! There’s a video of it too, so I’ll acquire that forever.
Nice! How abounding players acquire you played one-on-one adjoin over the years?
MC: I’ve played a lot. Appropriate aback I aboriginal started, I could move a lot bigger , so aback afresh I played a lot of guys in one-on-one, HORSE and everything. Now, I’ll go out there and shoot with the guys a lot. But aback then, I could authority my own a little bit. But they’re acutely the pros and I’m aloof the Joe aggravating to pretend I could comedy with them. But one affair I never did, I got asked a agglomeration to run in amateur during convenance and actuality and I was consistently like, “No, I don’t anytime appetite to cantankerous the line. You guys are the professionals and I gotta account your job and that you’re actuality to do a job, admitting I’m aloof yucking it up and aggravating to acquire fun. But, yeah, I’ve attempt with some guys for money; I’ve taken some money and absent some money. It’s still fun.
One of the best genitalia of owning the Mavs is above-mentioned to a home game, I’ll get out on the cloister and shoot afore the guys appear out to balmy up. I’ll aloof get shots up for an hour and that feeling… That’s breadth I get my ultimate peace. Aback the brawl is activity through the net (hopefully) and I’m aqueous bottomward threes, the jumpers are falling, and it’s annihilation but net, to me, that’s the best abstracted time ever. That affectionate of balances me out, accepting shots up. And actuality able to do it on the cloister of the American Airlines Center is aloof the ultimate amusement and pleasure.
I anticipate I allege for anybody account this: You’re active our dream!
MC: I’m living my dream too, assurance me!
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