Feb 21, 2024 - News

NBA promises new Mavs owner won't lead to more gambling ties

NBA commissioner Adam Silver gesturing with his left hand

NBA commissioner Adam Silver's relationship with Mavs ownership has always been complicated. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Mavericks' new owners' ties to the gambling industry won't mean the league will get more involved in legalized gaming, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters at All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis.

Why it matters: The Adelson family, which bought the Mavs last year, founded the Las Vegas Sands corporation, the largest publicly traded gambling company in the world.

  • Sands also owns several gaming properties in Macau, which is part of a massive Chinese market the NBA has courted for years.
  • Their purchase immediately sparked speculation that the team — and the league — might deepen their relationships to legal gambling.

Flashback: Last November, the NBA was part of a coalition of professional sports leagues and gambling companies that launched a series of ads promoting responsible sports betting.

What they're saying: "Whatever you're doing off the court is independent of the rules that you're operating under, and all of our gaming rules will apply to the Adelson-Dumont families in the same way they do to other people," Silver told reporters, according to Sports Illustrated.

  • "As we always say, you sort of park your day job."

Meanwhile: Silver also shared his thoughts on the 24-year ownership tenure of Mark Cuban, one of the league's most contentious owners. Cuban has had "an incredible impact on this league," Silver said.

  • "I have been with the league through his entire tenure of his ownership, from his earliest days in the league. He pushed us hard."
  • "Despite some of the back-and-forth with Mark and David [Stern] publicly and a little bit with me, there's always been very respectful relationships," he said.

The bottom line: Cuban's advocacy and energy as the team's owner helped shape the fate of the entire league, shifting everything from the NBA's use of technology to the way teams and players market themselves.

  • It will be interesting to see if the new owners continue that tradition.
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