Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire businessman Mark Cuban has appeared on “Shark Tank” for a long time. And for that reason, he’s out.
The 65-year-old broke the news during this week’s edition of “All the Smoke,” a podcast hosted by former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.
Cuban first appeared on the second season of the show as a guest entrepreneur in 2011. He’s been a regular “shark” since then. Along with Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary, Cuban has fielded eager pitches from budding entrepreneurs for 15 seasons.
"Next year, our 16th year, is gonna be my last year, so I got one more year to go," Cuban said.
It’s not the first time he’s spoken about leaving the show, but the definitive timeline is new.
Over the years, the successful panelists have invested in countless businesses. Cuban admitted that it hasn’t been especially profitable lately. But he praised some of his “Shark Tank” businesses, including Dude Wipes and BeatBox, an alcoholic beverage brand. Ultimately, he expressed a fondness for the show’s impact.
“I love it because it sends the message the American dream is alive and well,” Cuban said during the episode. “I feel like in doing ‘Shark Tank’ all these years, we’ve trained multiple generations of entrepreneurs that if somebody can come from Iowa or Sacramento or wherever, and show up on the carpet of ‘Shark Tank‘ and show their business and get a deal, it’s going to inspire generations of kids.”
The podcast’s first mention of the show came during a discussion of the NBA’s looming media rights deal, which is expected to impact the league’s bottom line significantly.
Cuban said he’s not worried about the league’s upcoming contract, but has concerns for whatever comes after. “Old school television is dying and streaming is taking over,” he noted, joking that “Shark Tank” is the only big show that still prioritizes linear TV.
Cuban cares deeply about the NBA’s financial outlook, but his interests span beyond the league. He co-founded Cost Plus Drugs last year, which boasts low prices for prescription drugs. "I'm used to people coming up to me because of 'Shark Tank,'" Cuban said. "Now, people are hugging me and crying."
For all of the public recognition he receives from his pharmaceutical endeavor, he’s apparently a hit as an owner. Barnes and Jackson called Cuban he “coolest owner ever" rattling off a list of players who have come on their podcast and praised him.
Almost 23 years ago, he purchased his majority stake in the Mavericks for $285 million. Cuban could’ve negotiated a better deal but it’s working out, he noted on the podcast. Forbes valued the team at $4.5 billion last month.
The team won its first and only championship in 2011, something Cuban is working to replicate. But the Mavericks' immediate focus is on the league’s inaugural in-season tournament, which Cuban has grown to appreciate. Dallas will visit the Houston Rockets for a group-stage matchup Tuesday night.