Don Carter, the Dallas Mavericks owner who brought the team to the city as the NBA was expanding in 1980, died Wednesday evening. Carter was 84-years-old. According to reports, the cause of Carter’s death has not been made public.
Carter was a majority owner of the team for nearly 16 years until he sold his majority stake to Ross Perot for $125 million in 1996. He has since remained a minority owner up until his death.
The Mavericks announced the death of its founding father in a team statement on Thursday.
“The entire Mavs family is heartbroken by the loss of Mr. Carter,” said current Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban. “Along with his wife Mrs. Carter, they have been our guiding lights for the organization since its founding in 1980.
“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. Our condolences go out to Mrs. Carter and the entire Carter family.”
Since the Mavericks’ inception, the team has won only one championship coming in 2011. Cuban invited Carter onto the stage to touch the trophy after Dallas defeated the Miami Heat to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
The Mavericks will host a moment of silence on February 26 during a home game against the Indiana Pacers.
Cuban purchased the Mavericks from Perot in 2000 for a reported $285 million. The recent Forbes evaluations currently value the Mavericks at $1.9 billion.
This season, the Mavericks are 18-40 and sit 14th in the Western Conference. Dealing with injuries, and an overall lack of talent, Dallas has set its sights on the draft this upcoming summer as a way to improve.