Mark Cuban Tells Snoop Dogg How He Went From Sleeping On Floors To Owning Teams (Video)
People know Mark Cuban as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and one of the apex investors on Shark Tank. However, not many realize how a working-class Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native was able to purchase an NBA franchise at the age of 40.
Cuban breaks down how getting fired pivoted him towards his empire while on Snoop Dogg’s GGN. “I got fired. I was a sales rep; I went to close a big deal. I was living with six guys in a three-bedroom-apartment, sleeping on the floor,” he says of his days as a student at University Of Indiana – Bloomington. “The struggle is real; [the] power of ‘broke.’ We would kite checks back and forth to be able to pay the rent. [At the time], I had this deal where I could make a $1,500 commission. But part of my job was to open up this retail software store: sweep the floor, wipe down the windows, get the sh*t open. I said to my boss, ‘I’m gonna pick up this check; I’m gonna make $1,500.’ He goes, ‘No, you gotta open up the store.’ I say, ‘I got that covered.’ He goes, ‘No, you’re gonna open up the store.’ I said, ‘I got it.’ And so I went to go pick up the check and brought it back; he fired me.”
From there, Cuban made moves. “I [took] the check, went off and started my own little business where we would connect PCs together. I [taught myself to write] software, and built that up and sold that to CompuServe. [I] invested [that money] in stocks, whatever, [and] built up some money. Then, by ’95 a buddy of mine came up to me, ‘Yo, this Internet thing is starting to take off. There’s no way to listen to sports on the Internet. You gotta figure it out; you’re the tech geek.”
That need online coupled with Cuban’s skills and sports fandom propelled him. “We started a company called AudioNet. We started hooking up the technology. [Meanwhile, we were] going to all these different radio stations and teams and saying, ‘Okay, anything outside of Dallas, anything outside of Pittsburgh, anything outside of wherever, you can’t hear it or see it. Right now, we want radio around the world.’ They’re like, ‘Cool,’ and they gave me the rights to their stuff. We started with a radio station in Dallas. We hooked up an 8-hour VCR and had a server set up in my bedroom, and we connected it to the Internet, and figured it all out. I’d just go online and say, ‘Look, if you’re interested in Dallas sports, download this sh*t and go to this website called AudioNet.'”
He continues, “Within a month, we had thousands of people downloading [every] day. And this was 1995. It just got bigger; no one had ever heard of streaming. It went from on-demand to live to concerts to games to everything—video. And then we went public during the big Internet boom. It was the biggest IPO (initial public offering) in the history of the stock market, and Yahoo! bought us for $5.7 billion…and then f*cked it up.”
Cuban would buy the Mavs in January of 2000, and would join management and players to lead them towards a championship in 2011.
Elsewhere in the discussion, Mark tells “Tha Doggfather” about his admiration for Julius “Dr. J” Erving, and how much he loves The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh. Snoop Dogg adds that he heard Magic Johnson was initially considered for the 1979 film that subsequently starred Dr. J as “Moses Guthrie.”