Ultimately, though, he married Linda Jo, succeeded his mother at the helm of Home Interiors, bought an NBA team and quietly lived a life of philanthropy. But that was after a year of haggling; resorting to "shenanigans," as Carter puts it; Sonju wooing and being rebuffed by 143 potential investors; Sonju spending nearly $300,000 of his own money; and, finally, an answered prayer and a famous meeting at Coco's restaurant on LBJ. To continue reading login or create an account. Were they opening? Here's how Chuck Carlton tells it in the Dallas Morning News: "Mark runs the Mavs. "It became a giant company within five or six years," Adkins says of the Mary Kay-type business that by 1981 had 30,000 employees nationwide. Federal Election Commission records show NBA owners have made $14.9 million in donations to Republican politicians overall, The Ringer revealed. San Antonio acquired the Spurs in 1973, after the old American Basketball Association Dallas Chaparrals couldn't hack it financially and were leased to a group of South Texas businessmen for $1. Ironically, the collapse of Kemper's roof in June 1979 may have opened a legal loophole for the team to leave. “I strongly value my independence," he said in an email. Carter's only teenage interests, he once told The Dallas Morning News, were cars, motorcycles and escaping high school to "make $35 a week so I could buy more gas.". And bigger picture, I wanted to know if these are places that I would feel safe taking my family to," Cuban wrote on his blog. Along with that, the report revealed that the 10 owners who have donated the most to political causes gave more than 75 percent of those political contributions to Republican causes. It always was, "How did you find that out? "I probably knew and worked as close with Don as anyone," Norm Sonju, who co-founded the Mavericks in 1980, told The News on Thursday. It had nothing to do with Dallas and everything to do with money. "I think the NBA thought it was still cowboys and Indians in Dallas," says Doug Adkins, the Mavericks' vice president/counsel from 1980 to '96. When the Mavericks' current 46-year-old owner, Mark Cuban, purchased controlling interest in the team from Ross Perot Jr. and a 50 percent stake in … But maybe it's just the first number in a longer negotiation???? "I said, 'Who in Dallas are you going to see?'" At one point, Sonju had about 18 investors, including singers Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell and actor James Garner. Sonju went to San Diego to help the Clippers' startup but soon after moved to Dallas to lead the city's efforts to land an expansion team. Negotiations with Eckardt fell through, but Carter remained interested in the enterprise as a gift to his wife Linda, who played basketball while at Duncanville High School. "I was a Christian and stuff, but I'll be honest with you: I recommitted everything to the Lord that day," Sonju says. You have 4 free articles remaining this month, Sign-up to our daily newsletter for more articles like this + access to 5 extra articles. Later, the franchise issued a full statement from Cuban and announced that Carter will be honored with a moment of silence during the Feb. 26 home game against Indiana and with a special tribute at the second timeout of the first quarter. ", 1/8Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (left) hugs former team owner Don Carter before an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks at American Airlines Center on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, in Dallas. Adkins says his name was never made public, until now: Garn Eckardt. What precautions were they taking? God and the Air Force set him straight, as did his mother, Mary Crowley, and her burgeoning Home Interiors and Gifts retail business. "But Don brought him back to the dressing room, introduced Mark Aguirre to him and said, 'Mark, if it were not for this man, you wouldn't be standing here.'". In regard to the different mandatory safety protocols, Cuban's poll found that on average, 60 percent of them were being implemented by businesses. "And this town was awfully good to me and my mother and my family. Former NBA center joining former Phoenix standout and current Brooklyn coach. But as the economy worsened (exacerbated by the Iranian hostage crisis that began in November 1979), his investor group rapidly dwindled. The poll also conducted physical audits at around 300 restaurants and retail locations "to assess compliance against state re-opening protocols.". Reached Thursday at his Lancaster, Pa., home, an emotional Sonju recalled the circumstances that led to the April 15, 1980, day on which Carter literally and emphatically stood up for Dallas. We came here with nothing.". "I've had a lot of smiles over those 25 years.". By 1979, while Dallas' oil and gas moguls reeled from the second energy crisis in six years and 20 percent interest rates waylaid the real estate and banking industries, young Carter's wealth was relatively insulated. At front in cowboy hat is the original Dallas Mavericks founding owner Don Carter. "To say he will be missed does not do justice to just how important Mr. C has been to the Dallas Mavericks and the City of Dallas.". Despite talk from opposing executive, Cleveland Gm is focused on using fifth overall pick to bring in potential help. In 1978, Californian businessman Garn Eckardt met Dallas lawyer Doug Adkins and mentioned he was trying to raise capital to move an NBA team to Dallas. Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser! This poll found that 56 percent said their main area of focus was their employees' willingness and ability to return from working from home. Minutes later, Carter phoned and asked Sonju to meet him for breakfast at Coco's restaurant off LBJ freeway. It also was Folsom who introduced Carter to NBA commissioner O'Brien. Then Cuban stood behind Carter, hands on his shoulders, while commissioner David Stern first handed the Larry O'Brien title trophy to Carter. But what about the man from California? But for a handful of founding fathers, it was an occasion for pause and reflection. He said seven cities were under consideration but that only Dallas and Minneapolis had made formal bids. Through 25 years, two home arenas, three owners and eight head coaches, they have managed one division title and two conference finals appearances. I couldn't do it without Don giving the financial support. While growing up in Sherman, and later Dallas, his primary interests were cars, motorcycles and doing just enough hell-raising to stay an arm's reach from the law. (Ken Geiger / The Dallas Morning News), 6/8Former Dallas Mavericks owner Don Carter was all smiles as the National Anthem was played before Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, on May 8, 2011. First the mea culpa, now a buddy.Cuban's partner from other ventures, and friend, Todd Wagner has bought in to the Dallas Mavericks. Twenty-five years later, it seems absurd that Dallas had to beg, barter and ultimately kick the door down to gain entry into the NBA. The franchise's original home, Reunion Arena, cost $27 million. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks' Wes Edens and Marc Lasry, Washington Wizards' Ted Leonsis, Sacramento Kings' Vivek Ranadive, Boston Celtics' Wyc Grousbeck and Lakers' Jeanie Buss have donated strictly to Democrats. "It's unbelievable how time goes on," says franchise co-founder Norm Sonju, who for 10 months in 1979 and early 1980 carried the ball alone, vainly trying to round up investors after Carter temporarily dropped out of the picture. The franchise's fortunes plummeted in the 1990s, first with a strip-down and then a failed rebuild of the roster around top-four draft picks Jim Jackson, Jamal Mashburn and Jason Kidd. "It was fairly evident in their opinions and actions.". On a napkin, they mapped out a counter-offer to the NBA in which Carter and Home Interiors would cover most of the $12 million expansion fee. "I wanted to get an understanding of what opening meant to businesses around Dallas. (Vernon Bryant / Staff Photographer), 8/8Dallas Mavericks owner Don Carter (left) and player Roy Tarpley after a morning practice where Tarpley confirmed that he has an alcohol and cocaine problem, and also told his teammates. In a similar poll conducted by the Dallas Regional Chamber, businesses across the city were asked what their main area of focus was in regard to reopening. Donnie Joe Carter wasn't much of a sports fan. It was April 15, 1980. Don couldn't do it without me having already done a lot of the work. Carter and Home Interiors would cover the bulk of the $12 million, but instead of $6 million up front, Carter proposed $2 million immediately and $4 million at the start of 1981. Today, according to Forbes, the franchise is worth $1.9 billion. A new poll indicates 96 percent of business owners in Dallas, Texas are not complying with at least some of the state's mandatory coronavirus safety protocols. The poll was created by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and conducted by Shiftsmart.com. ", Wagner, 44, declined to disclose his ownership percentage, although he described it as a "small stake. NBA owners have donated significantly more to the Republicans than Democrats ahead of the November presidential election, according to a wide-ranging report from John Gonzalez of The Ringer. Brown enlisted Sonju to scout potential relocation cities. In mid- to late 1978, a man from California phoned Adkins, said he was in Dallas on business and wondered if Adkins would meet with him about becoming his legal counsel.
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