Mark Cuban Wants You to Exploit Children and Get Rich
For those of you who were too lazy to actually click on the link, Mark Cuban is giving advice on how to get into the minor league basketball game (as an owner; as a player you're on your own - if you're reading this site I'd aim for the lowest possible league). He wants you to own a basketball team and be rich. He also wants you to sign high school kids, "practice the shit" out of them, and then sell their rights to other teams.
Now, I don't mean he wants you to sign 18-year olds. I mean he wants you to sign 14-year olds. Possibly even 10-year olds. As we all know, kids that age are perfectly capable of making rational business decisions. In fact, what with their hormones, this is the height of their rational thinking.
As awful as this sounds, he's got some strong evidence from foreign leagues, where this is the norm, like in France. And as we all know, Americans are lining up to be like France.
I'm a huge proponent of minor league basketball, and even tried to organize my readers into buying an ABA team with me. I would love to see more teams pop up in some of the smallest markets. In fact, consider FSC a resource for getting your own team:
- Want to reserve an ABA market? Try here.
- Care to contact the CBA office about organizing a team? Go to this page.
- Click here for the financial details of owning a USBL team and doing business as a USBL team owner.
- Check out this site for a how-to guide for owning an IBL team.
I'm not saying they're giving away these teams, but for 20 bucks, a book of stamps and one year's subscription to Maxim I can get you the rights to the Glendive, Montana market for minor league basketball.
At the same time there has to be some happy middle between setting up Mark Cuban's roundball sweatshop and owning a team that loses money. And of course, I have a recommendation.
As an owner, don't sign 14-year olds. Just DON'T. Not only should no one invest money in a person whose pituitary gland hasn't woken up yet, but it's morally corrupt, and you know that. But establish relationships with parents. Find talented areas for youth basketball and become a community member as you start your team. Make the basketball team like a large family operation. Bring the town and area around the team. Let the kids and families see the games for little to no money, be active in the community, and foster their love of basketball. When you know the kids and the families, THEN start talking with the talented ones about playing pro ball for you.
The kids will be more likely to sign with you, the parents will trust you, and since you know the kids you'll take better care of them than if they were just young punks you signed to a player's contract. They're going to be your punks with a player's contract. And you can take that contract and sell it to larger teams who want your players (like Cuban suggests), but everyone involved will be better off.
Don't take the Cuban Sell Your Soul Approach to making money from minor league ownership. Take the FSC Community Service Approach to making money from minor league ownership.