Donald Trump didn't hire "Apprentice" finalist Kwame Jackson on Thursday night's finale of the NBC reality show, but Mark Cuban just might.
The Dallas Mavericks billionaire owner -- who is also co-founder of HDNet, a high definition television company -- was at a party for Jackson on Thursday night after the 29-year-old Harvard Business School graduate lost the chance to work for Trump and receive a $250,000 salary. That prize went to Bill Rancic, the owner of a multimillion-dollar cigar company who will now oversee the contruction of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago.
The Donald's loss might be Cuban's gain.
"I told him I would definitely hire him to evaluate the business proposals I get every day that I can't get to," Cuban said on Friday. "And potentially run a business."
Cuban said Jackson, a former Goldman Sachs investment manager, actually made out better by not being selected.
"He knows that he was the lucky one by coming in second," Cuban said. "Bill gets up and goes to work on a construction job. Kwame gets to be the celebrity, have a great time and look over all the options he has. I told him to take his time, have fun and decide what he wants to do. We can talk more and if he wants a job, I have one for him."
Cuban did not say how much he would pay Jackson if he were to accept a job, but the Mavericks owner might have some serious competition in bidding for his services. Jackson already has been offered a $150,000 job from magazine publisher SYS-CON Media, and Kentucky Fried Chicken has offered him $25,000 and a year's supply of KFC products to work for one week on the launch of the company's oven-roasted chicken line.
Perhaps Cuban can beat the competition by giving Jackson restaurant chain managing advice. In January 2001, after saying that he wouldn't even hire the NBA's head of officials to manage a Dairy Queen, Cuban was challenged by the franchise to manage for a day. Cuban, who was fined $500,000 by the NBA for the remark, accepted and served up the company's Blizzards to approximately 1,000 people in two hours.
Cuban will get his shot at reality television soon, as he will be the star of ABC's "The Benefactor." Earlier this month, more than 500 people attended a casting call in Dallas for the show, in which 16 people will live in a house in Dallas for three weeks and try to impress Cuban for a $1 million bounty. The show is reportedly scheduled to air in August or September.
Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at Darren.email@example.com.