While plenty of pro sports owners are content to sit back and rake in the money, things seem to be a bit different in Texas. Jerry Jones has never met a camera or microphone that he doesn’t like, and Mark Cuban isn’t far behind. The Dallas Mavericks owner, however, has apparently considered moving beyond sports, business, and reality TV.
In the past, Cuban has kicked around the possibility of running for president. While he doesn’t think that will happen anytime soon, he did learn that he could potentially corner a decent section of the electorate, even competing against Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Mark Cuban’s rise to fame and fortune
Whether you’re familiar with Mark Cuban from the Dallas Mavericks, Shark Tank, or anything else, you probably know that he’s pretty wealthy. His life, however, didn’t begin on easy street.
While Cuban wasn’t always rich and famous, he did possess a shrewd business mind. As explained by Rob Biertempfel in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, he did everything from selling garbage bags and slicing deli meat to earn a few extra bucks; in college, he even gave disco dancing lessons for $25 an hour. Eventually, however, he found a way to make more money.
After landing a job selling computer software, Cuban set out on his own and founded MicroSolutions; as chronicled by Business Insider, he eventually sold the company $6 million, personally making $2 million on the deal. He then founded Audionet with two other partners; that platform would grow into Broadcast.com, getting in on the ground floor of live streaming.
At the height of the dot com boom, Yahoo purchased Broadcast.com for $5.9 billion. Cuban used the money from that deal to purchase the controlling share of the Dallas Mavericks. He hasn’t rested on his laurels, though; between his media work, NBA ownership, and various investments, Cuban has built up a $4.3 billion fortune, according to Forbes.
Taking over the Dallas Mavericks
When Mark Cuban took over the Dallas Mavericks in January 2000, the club hadn’t posted a winning campaign since 1989-90. Within a year, things were looking much different in Big D.
In Cuban’s first full season owning the Mavs, they won 53 games and made it to the Western Conference Semifinals; by the summer of 2006, they were facing off with—and falling to—the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. Dallas finally managed to win the title in 2011 and, although they’ve fallen off a bit since then, seem to be back on the right track thanks to Luka Doncic.
While Cuban’s sheer presence has helped to raise the Mavs’ profile, his time at the helm hasn’t been without issue. The outspoken owner has been fined on numerous occasions—usually for complaining about the NBA and its officials—and the Dallas organization was sanctioned by the league due to “sexual harassment and other improper conduct.” As explained by the New York Times in 2018, Cuban wasn’t personally accused of any wrongdoing, but “the investigation found his supervision severely lacking;” in response, he paid $10 million to “women’s leadership and domestic-violence organizations.”
Mark Cuban learned he could take votes away from Donald Trump
Since 2015, there has been some speculation about Mark Cuban potentially stepping into the political arena. The Mavericks owner, however, hasn’t been able to drum up the support to make that move worthwhile.
On a recent episode of The Axe Files with David Axelrod, Cuban explained that he had a pollster gauge his chances ahead of the 2020 election. “What they found out is I’d take some votes away from Donald Trump, particularly with independents,” Cuban explained, according to USA Today. “In a three-way between me, Biden and Trump, I dominated the independent vote — I got like 77 percent percent of it and was able to take some votes away from Donald and some votes away from Biden.”
Don’t expect Cuban to trade the NBA sidelines for the oval office, though. Even if he dominated the independent demographic, that’s not enough to win a presidential election.
“In aggregate, I was only able to get up to 25 percent,” Cuban continued. “From every which way, crosstab, you name it, I had it analyzed and scrutinized every which way, projected, and they could only see me getting up to 25 percent. That’s why I didn’t pursue it further.”
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference