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As winter approaches his business empire, Mark Cuban still has a sharp stick in his hands, looking for a defenseless eye to poke.

“When I got into the NBA, half of the fun was just f—ing up the NBA,” Cuban said the other day. “The fines, everything. Everybody did it this way, and I was like, no. No. That’s no fun. And I bought this to have fun, and if you don’t like it, fine me. And it worked out great.

“Same thing with the pharmaceutical industry and health care. What can be better? Hopefully, we won a championship in 2011, and won, hopefully, a championship in 2024. That’s good. But f—ing up the pharmacy industry? Changed health care? Who was that guy? That’s the real deal. That’s a big check the box.”

Cuban, who sold controlling interest in the Dallas Mavericks late last year to the Adelson and Dumont families, which run the Las Vegas Sands Casino Company, is still around the Mavs. He still owns $1 billion or so worth of the team.

It’s just that he’s 65, and he and his wife have three kids, and … life. Going toe to toe with the NBA about its officials and marketing is no longer front of mind. Time makes some things more important; other things less so.

When the Mavericks clinched the Western Conference title over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Cuban’s absence from the center of the trophy ceremony was noticeable.

“They did look over, and (TV presenter) Ernie Johnson looked at me, like, OK, you coming up?” Cuban said last week in Boston, where the Mavericks lost the first two games of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics before losing again Wednesday in Dallas.

“And I was like, this is Patrick (Dumont)’s moment,” Cuban said. “I don’t care about that s—. It’s just like, when we won (in 2011), who did I give the trophy to? (Former Mavs owner) Donald Carter. This is (Dumont’s) first time. I’ve been there. I didn’t need it. I was standing right behind him. I was enjoying every moment. I’ve got my kids. I didn’t need to be a part of it. I’ve done it. I want to do it again.”

(Remember, this was before Game 2. The Mavericks’ title dreams are now in a 3-0 hole, with Dallas needing to beat Boston on Friday at American Airlines Center to stave off elimination.)

Cuban’s spending just as much time these days with his two-year-old Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Company, a direct-to-consumer business with the simple goal of dramatically reducing the cost of prescription drugs. An easy lift for the “Shark Tank” star, right?

Take on an industry that did $364 billion in revenues in the United States in 2022, per Statista. Challenge an industry that is literally called Big Pharma because of its seemingly impenetrable maze of regulations and hidden costs that the U.S. federal government has spent decades trying to tame, with little success.

“It’s the easiest industry I’ve been in to disrupt,” Cuban said.

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Out of Mavericks spotlight, Mark Cuban now aiming at ‘f—ing up’ pharmacy industry

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