The sales of most professional sports teams are fairly predictable.
They happen because owners die or cannot figure out how to pass the team on to their families. They run out of money, are more focused on other pursuits or are pushed out because of misconduct.
Once the decision to sell is made, the process plays out in a relatively public way. Bankers are hired, potential purchasers register interest, an auction occurs, and weeks or months of reports in the news media follow.
So it was a complete surprise last month when, with no warning, the families that control the Las Vegas Sands casino empire announced that they had reached a binding agreement to buy a controlling interest in the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks from Mark Cuban.