The co-founders of a Los Angeles-based car air freshener company learned the hard way that the Dallas Mavericks’ Western Conference Finals ouster at the hands of the Golden State Warriors is a particularly sore spot for Mark Cuban.
Ride FRSH owners Don and Trey Brown appeared on a recent episode of ABC’s Shark Tank — the program where Cuban and other wealthy inverstors hear pitches from entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses. The individual panelists then decide whether or not to invest their own money in the ventures.
On the episode in question, the Brown brothers showed off their boutique air fresheners while seeking $200,000 for 5% of their company. However, when displaying one of their officially-licensed NBA air fresheners, they curiously opted to throw the Dubs up for Cuban’s benefit.
Needless to say, the Mavs owner did not have a positive reaction to that particular strategy.
Cuban Hastily Rejects Dubs Fans
The Browns were clearly attempting a good-natured rib at Cuban’s expense after his team lost its series against the eventual-champion Warriors in just five games. Cuban seemingly interpreted it as some kind of taunt, though. And given the investment that he has made in his team — not just financially, but emotionally — it’s difficult to blame him for it.
During the pitch, Trey lifted a Warriors-themed freshener to his nose and declared that it “smelled like winning,” after which Don chimed in with a “Sorry, Mark!” Moments later, Cuban summarily rejected the duo.
“Dumbest marketing move ever, I’m out!” Cuban said forcefully while removing himself from the process. “Seriously, you gotta read the room. Wrong move, wrong time.”
Cuban’s fellow sharks were left aghast over his fiery dismissal. And when they asked what it was that had moved him to respond so vociferously, he left little doubt that it was the dis on his Mavs.
“What do you think? The one air freshener from the NBA is the team that beats us in the NBA Conference Finals,” Cuban explained. “You gotta know that could backfire.”
Admonished by panelist Barbara Corcoran that he could be “a bigger man than that,” Cuban deadpanned, “Yeah I could be, but I’m not.”
The bumpy start notwithstanding, things worked out pretty well for the brothers in the end. Corcoran offered them $200,000 for a 25% stake in Ride FRSH, contingent on some pending partnerships becoming official. In the end, the sides reached an agreement at 20% for the investment.
On their way out, the Browns apologized to Cuban, prompting an “all good” response.
Warriors Face Stiff Test vs Mavs
As it happens, the Warriors will square off with Cuban’s Mavericks on Tuesday night. And while optimism abounds that the Dubs are finally on the right track after winning three straight games — and five of their last six — a road win over the Mavs could go a long way toward legitimizing the team.
Having dropped their last four games, the last three of which were on the road, Luka Doncic and Co. should be extra hungry for a win in their big return to American Airlines Center. That they can spoil the Warriors’ party, too, should serve as additional motivation.
Tip-off from Dallas is scheduled for 4:30 pm PT.