Dr. Miriam Adelson is reportedly in talks to acquire a majority interest in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, using the proceeds from the $2 billion sale of Las Vegas Sands equity and cash on hand. While the exact percentage of her interest in the team hasn’t been revealed, it represents a massive chunk of the $4.5 billion valuation the Mavericks had last month.
The deal, subject to approval by the NBA’s Board of Governors, is one of the most unprecedented arrangements in U.S. professional sports history, as it would allow current owner Mark Cuban to maintain day-to-day control of the team. Typically, when sports franchises change hands, new majority owners look to make their mark on the team, but Cuban would be able to maintain control.
News of Adelson’s divestment of $2 billion worth of Sands shares was reported earlier, marking her first sale since her late husband Sheldon Adelson died in January 2021. In the wake of the news, speculation has swirled about Adelson’s motivations, with some suggesting she could move the Mavericks to Las Vegas, though this is seen as unlikely. It’s also possible that Cuban could be leveraging the deal to bring a casino resort to the Dallas area.
Assuming she becomes the governor of the Mavericks, Adelson would join Houston Rockets boss Tilman Fertitta as the only two NBA owners with majority control of casino gaming companies. The big difference between Adelson and Fertitta is that she’s not involved with day-to-day business at Sands, while he oversees the Golden Nugget casino empire. Should the transaction be approved, Adelson would join Jeanie Buss of the Los Angeles Lakers as the only female majority owners of NBA franchises.
Another intriguing point could be future interactions between Adelson and Mavericks star Kyrie Irving, considering Adelson’s fierce support of Israel and Irving’s controversial statements in the past. Last year, Irving was suspended by the NBA after posting a link to a film rooted in anti-Semitism.