DALLAS (CN) – Fresh from the Dallas Mavericks’ stunning first NBA championship, Mark Cuban says he isn’t going to stand for smack talk about his ownership of the team.
Ross Perot Jr.’s Hillwood Investment Properties filed a state-court lawsuit in Dallas last year against Cuban’s Radical Mavericks Management and Dallas Basketball Limited, saying the team is mismanaged, in danger of insolvency and that Cuban was “making a litany of questionable business, financial and personnel decisions” that caused Hillwood to “lose substantial investment value.”
Hillwood, the previous majority owner, still controls a 5 percent minority share of the team.
On Wednesday, Cuban filed a motion for summary judgment in the suit, the only evidence presented being a large photograph of the team and Cuban celebrating as star player Dirk Nowitzki lifted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy above his head after Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Miami.
“Under Hillwood’s ownership, the team was deemed ‘the worst franchise’ in all of professional sports,” the motion says. “Under Cuban’s stewardship the Mavericks have become one of the league’s most successful teams and are now NBA champions. Accordingly, there can be no genuine question that Hillwood’s claims of mismanagement lack merit and Hillwood’s claims should be disposed of in summary judgment.”
Hillwood is suing for breach of contract, minority oppression and breach of fiduciary duty. It seeks damages, appointment of a receiver and a forensic accountant to take a look at the team’s books.
Perot sold controlling interest in the Mavericks to Cuban in 2000. Since then the team has had a net loss of $273 million: “nearly a seven-fold increase in the negative account in that nine-year period,” according to the complaint.
Perot says the Mavericks owe more than $200 million, and that there is “no assurance” that the lenders will pay for an additional projected operating loss of $92 million in the next four fiscal years.
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