Cynthia Marshall

Latest On Potential Mavericks Sale

Sands Corp. president and chief operating officer Patrick Dumont, son-in-law of Miriam Adelson, will be the family’s “foremost member” if their purchase of the Mavericks is approved by the NBA, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column.

It’s still not fully clear how much power Mark Cuban will have once he becomes a minority owner, even though it was reported Tuesday that he will continue to run the team’s basketball operations. Stein notes that it’s an unprecedented arrangement, and the Adelson family may want some say in personnel moves once they’re writing the checks.

Stein points out that Cuban has already ceded some decision-making to Nico Harrison, who was hired as general manager in 2021, and CEO Cynthia Marshall, who has been handling business matters since 2018. Even so, Stein found it shocking that Cuban opted to sell the team, considering that he sits near the bench at most games, maintains a visible role in the war room on draft nights, and remains involved in most personnel decisions.

League sources tell Stein that Cuban plans to be “a very active partner” to the Adelsons on basketball matters while letting the family deal with television revenues, real estate ventures and similar issues.

There’s more from Dallas:

  • The Adelson family agreed to purchase the Mavericks with an eye toward legalizing casino gambling in Texas, according to an editorial from The Dallas Morning News. Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who has since died, focused on Texas two years ago as the primary spot for expansion, the editorial states. Lobbying money from the Adelson family and other gambling interests has poured into the state, helping to soften any opposition. Cuban is perfect as a “primary stakeholder,” the paper adds, because he has been an advocate for building a casino in downtown Dallas.
  • The Adelson and Dumont families have issued a statement regarding their purchase of the Mavericks, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “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,” it reads in part. “The goal is to win and to have a team that proudly represents the greater DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) area and serves as a strong and valuable member of the local community.” The families are hoping to close the sale by the end of December.
  • Last year, Cuban cited the Sands Corp. as his ideal partner for a casino and resort destination, per Tim Cato of The Athletic, who notes that the Mavericks can’t leave their current home at the American Airlines Center until their lease expires in 2031.

Silver Compliments Mavericks On Handling Of Front Office Scandal

Commissioner Adam Silver said the Mavericks have made significant progress in reforming their front office since an embarrassing workplace misconduct scandal was made public last year, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

Silver traveled to Dallas on February 6 to assess the current state of the organization. He spoke with almost every team employee in an effort to see whether the reforms that were installed have made a difference.

“At least what was reported directly to me and through the organization is that it was a complete sea change in culture on the business side with the Mavericks, that Cynthia Marshall was getting the highest possible grades, along with the new senior management team that she brought in,” Silver said. “I think many employees, longtime employees there, felt somewhat liberated, while some felt still, honestly, a bit scarred. That they thought systems, most importantly, had been put in place … to ensure that they don’t end up happening ever again in a situation like that.”

Marshall was hired as CEO to clean up the organization after the scandal broke last February. Silver said NBA president of social responsibility Kathy Behrens has been working with her and team owner Mark Cuban to make sure that promises are being kept, including Cuban’s vow to donate $10MM to women’s organizations that stand up against domestic violence.

“I got a report directly from Cynthia and from Kathy,” Silver said. “Mark is absolutely meeting his commitment and has told me he’s doing far more than that. That is his personal decision and not something he’s seeking publicity around, so I won’t talk more about that.”

In addition to changes in Dallas, Silver said the incident inspired the other NBA teams to assess their management practices to make sure the league never has to deal with another scandal of this type.

Investigation Into Mavs’ Misconduct Could Wrap Up Soon

The results of the investigation into the Mavericks’ alleged front-office misconduct could be made public next week, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports. The league and team would like to have the results finalized by Labor Day but there’s no firm timetable, Sefko continues.

An report back in February detailed inappropriate behavior by former employees, including former team president and CEO Terdema Ussery. Outside counsel was hired soon after to investigate the matter but the probe has dragged on through the summer.

The investigation is currently awaiting input and possible league sanctions, along with a re-examination of the details in the report, sources told Sefko.

It’s expected that the league will dole out some form of punishment to the organization, though the franchise has made sweeping moves to under new CEO Cynthia Marshall to change the front-office culture, Sefko adds. The front office has been overhauled and new initiatives were put in place to give all employees a voice in matters of inclusion and diversity.

Mavs Notes: Smith Jr., Noel, Discrimination

Despite the Mavs’ disappointing 23-53 mark through 76 games, it’s hard to consider Dennis Smith Jr.‘s rookie season anything less than a success, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. The 20-year-old has put forth 15.2 points and 5.0 assists per game, which both rank among the top five for first-year players.

More importantly, however, Smith Jr. has been healthy for the majority of the season. Considering the high-flying guard tore his left ACL back in 2015, it bodes well that he has made it through the bulk of an entire NBA campaign in relatively good shape. With the exception of a few instances of soreness, the guard’s knee has held up and he’s played in 86% of the team’s games so far.

A lot of rookie point guards who have the responsibility of starting would be worn down mentally and really banged up physically,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s neither. He’s very strong and has worked very hard on his body and his mind is fresh. He wants to be one of those guys that’s really depended on by a franchise and he’s gained is a real knowledge of the amount of work that’s going to go into that.

There’s more news out of Dallas this evening:

  • While it seemed as though Nerlens Noel‘s exit from Dallas was a foregone conclusion a couple months ago, the fact that the injured big man has done so little over the course of the 2017/18 campaign may mean that there isn’t much of a market for him in free agency. Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News writes that he doesn’t believe the franchise views Noel as a building block anymore but that the club could use him as a placeholder.
  • A woman fired by Arena Operating Co., the company that operates the American Airlines Center, is following up a January complaint alleging gender, sexual and racial issues by seeking information from Mark Cuban about a 2011 incident involving a noose hung in the Mavs’ stadium, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. It’s alleged that Cuban disposed of the noose at the time, but did not “make a big deal of it.”
  • Under the leadership of new CEO Cynthia Marshall, the Mavs have hired a pair of executive leadership employees and officially launched an initial “100-Day Plan” to improve the culture of the disgraced organization. A team-issued press release states that the Mavs plan to position the organization as a standard bearer for inclusion and diversity.