According to Forbes, Mark Cuban is the world's 400th richest person with a net worth of $2.1 billion. No matter how you slice it, that's a lot of jersey T-shirts. And as we all know, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks likes to spend his money. Whether it be on new Mavericks, a jet or various electronic goods for his team's locker room, Cuban has no problems emptying his bottomless wallet.
Or maybe not. According to a lawsuit filed by Ross Perot, Jr. -- former Mavericks majority owner and current owner of 5% of the team -- Dallas Basketball Limited, the business branch of the Mavericks, is "insolvent and/or in imminent danger of insolvency." From the Dallas Morning News:
"DBL currently does not have revenues sufficient to pay its operating costs," the lawsuit said. "Without additional borrowings, DBL will not be able to fund its projected operating losses or to pay its obligations as they become due."
The Mavericks' debt now exceeds $200 million, the lawsuit said. Perot wants a court-appointed receiver to run the team.
That doesn't sound right. This is Mark Cuban and the Mavericks we're talking about here. You know, the team with the second-highest payroll in the NBA. They can't be struggling that badly, can they?
Cuban says, "Not so fast."
Cuban denied the team was insolvent and said Perot might be trying to pressure him to buy him out. Asked whether there was a chance he could lose control of the team, Cuban said, "No, none."
"Mavs fans have nothing to worry about," he said in an email. "The Mavs operations and debt are guaranteed by me. There is no risk of insolvency. Everyone always has been and will be paid on time."
Now that sounds like the Mavericks we all know and love, spending money like Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri circa 1998.
Not to be outdone by the lawsuit against his team, Cuban also zinged Perot saying that doing business with him "is one of the worst experiences of my life" and that Perot "could care less about Mavs fans. He could care less about winning." Burn.
Frankly, this lawsuit seems like the work of a guy who regrets selling his team and is trying to get it back by any means necessary. However, if it does end up being true that the Mavericks are going broke, I'm sure Erick Dampier's(notes) contract would have something to do with it.