Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver found themselves on stage together recently at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. They covered a wide range of topics, including Cuban’s political aspirations, President Trump’s political skills and the Mavericks’ bad season. We’ve reprinted a condensed and lightly edited version of the interview below.
Nate: Are you prepared here at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference to announce your candidacy for president of the United States?
Mark: [laughter] I’ll get back to you on that.
Nate: OK. But is it something you’ve thought about seriously?
Mark: Have I thought about it? Yes. Seriously is relative. Circumstantially, yes, but I’m nowhere near ready to decide anything. You know, there’s still a few years to see how things go and what direction they go, so … let’s just say, it’s not just a lifelong dream of mine to be president of the United States.
Nate: Donald Trump was able to win the nomination and the presidency. Do you consider that a kind of game-changing event?
Mark: Game changing event? Yes. Is he paving the way for businesspeople? No. Probably the exact opposite. So it probably hurts more than helps somebody who wanted to come from the business side as opposed to the political side. But it really depends on how he governs, if he governs, and what the results are. Because if things are great, then it’d be a positive, but it also is going to open a door for more Trumpian-like people, I guess, which I would not classify myself as. And if it doesn’t work, then it may swing back the other way, toward more traditional politicians. We’ll have to see.
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