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Don Carter, owner who helped bring NBA to Dallas, dies at 84

NBA Finals Game 6:  Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS - JUNE 20: Founder Don Carter of the Dallas Mavericks watches game six of the 2006 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat on June 20, 2006 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The Heat defeated the Mavericks 95-92 to win the NBA title. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (AP) — Don Carter, the owner who was instrumental in bringing the NBA to Dallas with the expansion Mavericks in 1980, has died. He was 84.

The Dallas County medical examiner says Carter died Wednesday night. The cause was not disclosed.

Carter co-founded the franchise with Norm Sonju, the club’s first president. Carter sold majority interest to Ross Perot Jr. in 1996 but kept a minority stake.

Current owner Mark Cuban bought the team in 2000. He said of Carter: “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.”

Cuban invited Carter to celebrate with the team on the court in Miami after the Mavericks won their only championship in 2011.

The Mavericks were a model franchise in the early days, quickly becoming a contender and reaching the Western Conference finals in 1988.