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Why did you team up with WynnBet?
Well, I had to divest my ownership in the Kings. I’m a brand partner with the hotel. We believe WynnBET is going to be the next big player in sports betting and igaming space. And I’m all about challenges. I’m all about good business. I’m all about helping people, making people smile and I thought this was a great opportunity to get in this space.
Was it a hard decision selling your interest in the franchise?
It was very tough. Actually, heartbreaking. Trying to find loopholes around it, but couldn’t. I’ve always been one to follow the rules. The NBA’s been good to me, Adam Silver’s been good to me. I had a good conversation with Vivek, who is a brilliant businessman. Like I said, we know and believe WynnBET is going to be the next big player in the online sports gaming space. For me it was a no-brainer. I have equity in this business and hopefully it does well. Right now, WynnBET is live in six states and we have access to 16 total states and we’re on par with all the other major players in the space and we go live with our seventh state being Arizona Thursday, Sept. 9th.
I’m going to imagine you made a nice profit off of that sale since NBA valuations have skyrocketed over the past decade.
Yeah, I did very well.
For the average fan that dreams about owning even just a slice of a team, what is it really like to have a small stake in an NBA franchise?
It was awesome. To just be in that position to have a piece of a team…I was a silent guy, though. I didn’t want to come and stand in the tunnel and tell Vivek “Do this, trade this guy, do that.” Hopefully that will come in the future. But it was another impressive title that I had. NBA legend, Hall of Famer, three-time Finals MVP, former NBA minority owner. It was actually great.
The way you just talked you have ownership aspirations down the road.
Maybe. I always have a lot of dreams and I don’t like to talk about them too much. Right now it’s about WynnBET. This right here is my new baby so I gave up one baby and had another baby. Or gave up one girlfriend and now I’m dating WynnBET.
Gotta ask about some of the offseason moves while we have you. Did you like what the Lakers did in free agency?
Yeah, they definitely stacked their team. They’re older, but until you can show me a young team that has dominated the league I’m not really worried too much about their age.
Does the Bulls’ roster make sense to you? We’re talking about Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and they have Nikola Vucevic from the trade deadline last March. The jury’s kind of hung on whether that’s a roster that’s playoff-caliber in the Eastern Conference or destined to be an 11th seed.
They’re going to try and do the Golden State thing. Four smalls, try to spread it out, shoot, run, Zach LaVine shoot threes, Lonzo get everyone involved so it’s going to be an experiment. So hopefully the experiment does pretty good, but you ain’t going to win a championship with that team.
Is there anyway Ben Simmons can open the season with the Sixers?
I say no. He hasn’t had a lot of communication with them this summer. He hasn’t gotten any better over the last four years. If you don’t have communication with upstairs it’s not going to go well. Philly fans gave up on him, or are starting to give up on him. It’ll probably be good for him to go somewhere else. But I follow him and he’s been shooting that jumper on his page. So if he does comeback his jumper better be Steph Curry’s.