The Jewish Sport Report: Mark Cuban and Miriam Adelson make a Dallas Mavericks swap


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(JTA) — Hi there! It’s hard to believe it’s already December. The MLB Winter Meetings begin on Monday, ushering in the most exciting and hectic few days of baseball’s offseason.

Keep an eye on newly-minted general managers David Stearns (New York Mets) and Craig Breslow (Boston Red Sox), as well veteran execs Mark Shapiro (Toronto Blue Jays) and Andrew Friedman (Los Angeles Dodgers) — all of whom are expected to be active in free agent negotiations and trade talks.

The top three reporters covering the rumors are all Jewish, too: Jeff PassanKen Rosenthal and Jon Heyman.

The Dallas Mavericks make a trade — one Jewish billionaire owner for another

Mark Cuban and Miriam Adelson

Mark Cuban, left, is selling a significant stake in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks to Miriam Adelson, right. (Getty Images)

Jewish billionaire and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban is likely the best-known owner in the NBA. He’s not afraid to speak out about politics or controversy in the league, and he has an active role in running his Dallas Mavericks.

So when the news broke this week that Cuban would be selling his majority stake in the franchise, basketball fans were taken a bit off-guard. And his partner in the acquisition, fellow Jewish billionaire and casino magnate Miriam Adelson, was also unexpected. Adelson, the widow of influential Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson, purchased Cuban’s ownership stake for a reported $3.5 billion.

The deal also represents something of a partnership for Cuban and Adelson, whose daughter is on the Israeli version of “Shark Tank.” Cuban will retain control over the team’s basketball operations — an unusual arrangement in pro sports — while Adelson is expected to bring her casino know-how to Dallas, where some lawmakers are seeking to legalize recreational gambling.

Adelson is also taking over the current team of Kyrie Irving, the All-Star at the center of an antisemitism scandal last year.

Read more about the unexpected Mavericks sale here.

Halftime report

HOSTAGE HERO. Prominent Argentine-Jewish sportscaster Hernan Feler mentioned the Israeli hostages on air during soccer games for weeks. His aunt, Ofelia Roitman, was among those released by Hamas on Tuesday.

A TRUE GLOBETROTTER. Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger died this week at 100, and my colleague Ben Harris’ excellent obituary features a fantastic tidbit about the controversial politician: Kissinger was the first person to be named an honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, in 1976.

JEWS ON FIRST. If you live in the Boston area, check out this event Sunday at Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland: Judaism through Baseball: An Afternoon with Ryan Lavarnway and Jonathan Mayo. Mayo is a longtime reporter and a friend of the Sport Report, and I recently spoke with Lavarnway, the former Team Israel captain and retired MLB catcher, about his Israel advocacy.

RETURN TO SENDER. The Telegraph reports that the United Kingdom rejected a proposal that former Chelsea F.C. owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich use the money he made from selling the Premier League club — over two billion pounds — to support Israel rather than Ukraine, as he had proposed last year.

GABE’S NEW GIG. Former San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler is joining the Miami Marlins front office as an assistant general manager. Kapler had been a candidate for Boston’s chief baseball officer opening this winter and had expressed an interest in returning to front-office work after years as a manager.

WHAT CAN’T HE DO? It turns out New Jersey Devils star Jack Hughes is a multi-sport threat. The 22-year-old, who has 29 points in 16 games this season, joined “The Eli Manning Show” this week and easily made a 50-yard “puck goal,” shooting a hockey puck through the uprights at MetLife Stadium. For his next trick, we’d like to see Hughes hit a puck for a homer at Citi Field.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Deni Avdija and the Washington Wizards face the Orlando Magic tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Avdija dropped a season-high 22 points on Wednesday (his second 22-point performance), but the Wizards remain one of the league’s worst teams at 3-15. Domantas Sabonis and the Sacramento Kings host the Denver Nuggets Saturday at 10 p.m. ET and the New Orleans Pelicans Monday at 10 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals of the in-season tournament. In the G League, Ryan Turell and the Motor City Cruise host the Wisconsin Herd tonight at 7 p.m. ET and Amari Bailey and the Greensboro Swarm play the Delaware Blue Coats tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET.


Jack and Luke Hughes’ New Jersey Devils host Luke Kunin and the San Jose Sharks tonight at 7 p.m. ET. The brothers worked together to secure an overtime victory last night. Their rival, bagel influencer Adam Fox — who returned from injury on Wednesday — and his New York Rangers match up against the Nashville Predators Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET and the Sharks Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. Cole Guttman and the Chicago Blackhawks play the Winnipeg Jets Saturday at 3 p.m. ET and the Minnesota Wild Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Guttman returned to the Blackhawks last Friday after a stint in the AHL.


Jake Curhan and the Seattle Seahawks kicked off Week 13 last night with a thrilling 41-35 loss against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. On Sunday, catch Michael Dunn and the Cleveland Browns against the Los Angeles Rams at 4:25 p.m. ET, before A.J. Dillon and the Green Bay Packers host the Kansas City Chiefs at 8:20 p.m. on Sunday Night Football.


Matt Turner and Nottingham Forest take on Everton Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.


Max Homa is in the lineup at Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge golf tournament in The Bahamas this weekend.

A joyful homecoming

Teenager Ofir Engel, one of the dozens of Israeli hostages released by Hamas this week, is a huge fan of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team. The squad welcomed Engel home on Wednesday with a message on X, writing, “Happy. Proud. Glad to announce Ofir Engel’s signing for life… so good that you came back home.” Watch the crowd cheer him on in this moving clip from a game he attended after his release.

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