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Mark Cuban's Game

You shed tears of joy when they win and tears of anguish when they lose.

You sweat blood watching every inning or quarter.

Besides shelling out thousands to be in the front row of every game, the only thing that will get you closer is actually purchasing your beloved team.

Even for a mild sports enthusiast, owning a sports team is a dream come true. But only a fortunate -- and stupendously wealthy -- few, such as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, can say "my team" and mean it literally.

A billionaire entrepreneur, Cuban co-founded MicroSolutions in 1983 and sold it to CompuServe in 1990. He also co-founded Broadcast.com in 1995, selling it to Yahoo! (YHOO) in 1999 before purchasing the Dallas Mavericks in January 2004 for $285 million.

However, Cuban is no Titus watching the Colosseum from his ivory tower; in fact, he's there yelling courtside at games and frequently answers emails from the team's fans.

But team loyalty aside, what entices team owners to make such a grand (nonrefundable) investment?

TheStreet.com found that Cuban's love for the sport of basketball and the game of business is what makes the Mavericks a successful and inspired investment for him.

The Street.com: Before you purchased a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks from H. Ross Perot in 2000, what gave you the idea to even pursue ownership of a sports team?

Mark Cuban: It was at opening night for the [Mavericks] '99-'00 season. There was no energy, no excitement in the building.

I thought that I could do a better job and then realized that I could afford to actually put my money where my mouth was and try to buy the team. I hadn't considered it before then.

Why basketball, and more specifically, why the Mavericks?

I've been a basketball junkie as long as I can remember, and the Mavs were my favorite team.

Is there a gross financial risk involved? Would you call team ownership a smart investment?

It's not a bad investment. It has its challenges, primarily due to the dependence on your partners and the league office.

But as you can tell from the rising sales prices, it can be a lucrative investment.

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