Cuban makes Mavs purchase official

DALLAS, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Mark Cuban, co-founder of, signed a definitive agreement Friday to acquire a controlling interest in the Dallas Mavericks. The sale now needs only approval by the NBA's Board of Governors to become official.

Earlier this month, Cuban reached a preliminary agreement to buy a majority share of the Mavericks for a reported $280 million. The Hillwood Development Corporation, led by Ross Perot Jr., will retain a minority share of the team following completion of the proposed transaction.


"Hillwood and Mark Cuban have signed a definitive agreement for the sale of the controlling interest in the Dallas Mavericks," Hillwood CEO Rick Patterson said. "The sale will be completed upon formal approval by the National Basketball Association."

Cuban already has imposed himself upon the Mavericks, meeting with team president Terdema Ussery and coach and general manager Don Nelson. After meeting with Cuban, Nelson announced he would not coach the team next season and neither would his son, Donn, who was being groomed as his successor.

Since Cuban's arrival, the Mavericks also have entertained the idea of possibly signing flaky forward Dennis Rodman.

The deal also includes the sale of a portion of Hillwood's interest in the American Airlines Center, which is expected to open in the autumn of 2001. Hillwood will continue to lead the development and construction of the facility.


The sale of the Mavericks reportedly will not affect the development around the arena, consisting of office buildings, retailing, residential units and an entertainment district.

Perot's broad-based ownership group purchased 55 percent of the Mavericks on May 1, 1996 for $125 million. During his term as owner, the team has traded superstar Jason Kidd and hired Nelson as general manager.

The Mavs have not had a winning season since 1989-90, going 218-529 since. They are fifth in the Midwest Division with an 11-24 record.

The New Jersey Nets were sold for an NBA-record $227 million in 1998.

A native of Pittsburgh, Cuban became one of the country's richest people last year when Yahoo, a California Internet company, bought the 4-year-old for a reported $6 billion.

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