Former star played a vital role in Cuban’s purchase of the Mavericks

Posted Monday, Sep. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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No one knows if the introduction would have eventually happened. But it was Mark Aguirre who introduced Mark Cuban to Ross Perot Jr., thus leading to the ownership change of the Dallas Mavericks.

That meeting occurred in the latter half of 1999. By Jan. 4, 2000, Perot’s sale of the Mavericks to Cuban for $285 million was finalized.

“It might have happened later, but I actually brought it to Mark first because he didn’t think they were for sale because they had just been sold,” Aguirre said Saturday. “[Mavericks original owner] Don Carter had just sold them to Ross Perot [in 1996].

“That was a quick sell to be selling it again. Then when I told Mark there might be an interest in selling it, he was really overwhelmed by the fact that it might happen.”

What made Aguirre even think Cuban would be interested in purchasing the Mavericks?

Before winning NBA titles with Detroit in 1989 and ’90, Aguirre was a three-time All-Star with the Mavericks from 1981 until being traded to the Pistons on Feb. 15, 1989. He had witnessed Cuban’s enthusiasm for the Mavericks since Cuban had season tickets near courtside at Reunion Arena and was always one to voice his opinion.

“When somebody is that enthusiastic and you see them night in and night out, you can’t help but remember them,” said Aguirre. “So I knew him.”

When asked about the importance of Aguirre’s introduction to him buying the Mavericks, Cuban said: “It was everything.”

Aguirre said once he made the introduction, he knew it was only a matter of time before ownership of the Mavericks would change.

“Even before he became the Mark Cuban, you can’t mistake him because the guy loved the Mavericks,” said Aguirre, who worked a free clinic for underprivileged kids Saturday at the Sports Authority in Plano. “Once he did all his things with Broadcast.com, we talked and I knew he loved [the team] so much that I said, ‘Would you have an interest in buying the Mavericks?’

“At that point Ross [Perot Jr.] was considering selling them, so I said Mark might be the best person to talk to, and he said he was interested. So at that point, I made sure I got the introductions right and then everything after that is history. Mark bled Mavericks and he wanted to own the team, so it was the right timing, the perfect match.”

Dwain Price 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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