Last offseason's big free agent prize Deron Williams passed on playing in Dallas because its owner was absent from his meeting with the team on July 1.

Where was Mark Cuban on July 1 last year?

He was in California on a panel of potential investors considering offers from aspiring entrepreneurs for ABC's hit reality television series "Shark Tank."

This season however, Mark Cuban is making sure that this year's priority free agents in Dwight Howard and Chris Paul can't use his absence as an excuse to not play for the Mavericks.