DECEMBER 1, 1980
He was a No. 1 draft choice, a three-time NBA All-Star, an oft-overweight hothead known more for his moods than his moves, but today, in the Dallas offices of LifeCast.com, the Internet company he cofounded in 1999, Mark Aguirre, 41, is a savvy businessman, cool and in control. "Clients assume I'm just there for p.r. purposes," he says. "Then we start a conversation, and they realize I know what I'm talking about."
Aguirre, who spent three years at DePaul majoring in communications but never graduated, became interested in the Internet in the late 1980s while investing in Source Media, a fledgling online company. LifeCast, of which he's chairman, creates websites for country clubs, offering members a variety of online services. Since site access is restricted by passwords and members average a salary of $250,000 and a net worth of $1.6 million, LifeCast, which has 120 employees, can guarantee advertisers a highly desirable audience.
In his college and NBA days, Aguirre, who was an All-America and Naismith Award winner at DePaul and whom the Dallas Mavericks made the top pick in the 1981 draft, put up impressive numbers, averaging 24.5 points a game for the Blue Demons and 20.0 over 13 pro seasons. He was a low-post banger with a sweet shooting touch, but he also could be a coach's worst nightmare. His stormy relationship with Dallas coaches, particularly Dick Motta, who admonished the 6'6" Aguirre about his weight—which was anywhere between 230 and 250 pounds—and lack of hustle, eventually caused the Mavs to trade him to the Detroit Pistons, in February '89. Aguirre went on to win two championship rings as an indispensable sixth man for the Pistons.
Aguirre's signature scowl is rarely seen these days, especially around his suburban Dallas five-bedroom home, which is adorned with an ornate flower garden. ("I love landscaping," he says. "My wife, Angela, wants nothing to do with it.") It's a full house: The Aguirres have four daughters—Angelei, Machera, Alana and Michaela—all 11 or younger.
Still, colleagues say that Aguirre has retained his competitive edge, a necessity in the business world. When asked what future projects he and LifeCast are exploring, he's coy. "We're looking at an extremely scalable opportunity," he says, "which could bring in several billion dollars. I know that's a bit ambiguous." He pauses—an if-I-told-you-I'd-have-to-kill-you silence—and then laughs. This Mark Aguirre sometimes smiles.