While watching a re-run of ‘Shark Tank’ last night, I started thinking about the best and worst deals I ever saw Mark Cuban make on the show. My personal favorite deal of his is when he invested in a guy who draws cat. Seriously, in 2015, the Dallas Mavs owner, who once reportedly had Magic Johnson kicked off a plane, gave a cartoonist $25,000, so he could be an investor in IWantToDrawACatForYou.com. Awesome!
My favorite investment of his in the basketball world (besides the Dallas Mavs for $285 million in 2000) just might be rookie Dennis Smith Jr. You know, the 19-year old rookie who somehow fell to the 9th pick and should have a website called IWantToDunkOnYou.com.
On Tuesday against John Wall and the Wizards, Smith put up nine points, 4 assists and threw down one nasty dunk…in the first quarter. He finished the game with a season-high 22 points (youngest Mav to ever score 20) and just two boards and assists shy of his first triple-double. And those numbers came in a rare win as the Mavs broke their six-game losing streak.
After the game, a reporter asked him about being on the floor with the fastest player in the league and if he felt “intimated.” Smith looked up, squinted his eyes like Clint Eastwood and said, “Nah, nobody is going to intimidate me.”
It then looked like Smith stopped himself from going full “slangin’ this wood is my God given talent” Smith, paused and then complimented John Wall and talked about how he’s doing his best to make sure he’s doing the best for the team.
So, this best investment talk might sound a little premature but this is how much faith I have in Smith — the player surveyed NBA GMs picked as the steal of the draft — and what he can do for the city of Dallas over the next few years.
If you are curious to what’s the worst deal Cuban has ever had (not named Raef Lafrentz). He invested in a toy rental company called Toygaroo in 2011 and less than a year later, the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That’s the equivalent of drafting a player and a year later they are out of the league. Speaking of guys like that, has anyone heard from the high-flying Buck Joe Alexander?