'Shark Tank': GRIND Basketball nets $250K deal, fans love product but need for power socket leaves them unsure

Thomas Fields' aim in creating GRIND was to make a shooting machine not only portable but also affordable so that all basketball enthusiasts could benefit. GRIND is sleek enough to fit in a duffle bag, but it still needs an electricity source to be used

                            'Shark Tank': GRIND Basketball nets $250K deal, fans love product but need for power socket leaves them unsure
Thomas Fields, the founder of GRIND Basketball, left 'Shark Tank' with a nice deal (ABC)

When Thomas Fields' dream of playing for the NBA was cut short due to his ACL injuries, the young Houston resident didn't let it crush his dreams. He instead pivoted from playing basketball professionally to launching a business to hone the skills of basketball players, thus giving birth to GRIND- a portable basketball shooting machine.

Fields' aim of creating the GRIND was to make the shooting machine not only portable but also affordable so that all the basketball athletes and enthusiasts could benefit from practicing on a shooting machine. While his intentions of designing and creating the GRIND are without a doubt amazing, unfortunately, fans seem to have some concerns about the product's design. Although GRIND is portable and sleek enough to fit into a duffle bag, it still needs an electricity source to plug the machine and use it.


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The GRIND basketball shooting machIne is sleek enough to fit into a duffle bag (ABC)

Fields didn't waste any time in impressing the Sharks with his amazing product and inspiring story. He came into the tank seeking $250K for a 5% stake in his company. Although the Sharks loved his passion and determination, unfortunately, Lori Greiner, Kevin O'Leary, and Alex Rodriguez backed out as they felt that GRIND didn't fit their portfolio. But real-estate mogul Barbara Corcoran was keen on making an offer and closing a deal with Fields. The problem though was that she had little to no knowledge about sports and needed someone like fellow Shark Mark Cuban's expertise to help her out. So Barb and Mark teamed up and made an offer for $250K in exchange for a 30% stake in the company. 

While Fields was thrilled at the idea of having Mark as his Shark, he however wasn't ready to part with so much equity, so he requested the Sharks to reconsider their offer. Mark and Barbara then made a revised offer of $250K for a 25% stake. Although Fields was a bit hesitant initially, he eventually agreed to their offer and closed the deal with them. Fans were pleased to see his hard work and efforts pay off as he managed to leave the tank with two Sharks on his team, but began questioning the functionality of the product. 

A fan tweeted, "Awww. I don't know about having to plug the basketball in. Love the product tho. #SharkTank." Another fan came up with a solution for the machine's need for electricity, "Grind is a cool product. Put a solar panel on it to eliminate the power issue and scale it to bring the price down so it's more affordable. Definitely worth the investment - with some tweaks, it will be very successful. #SharkTank."



Mark Cuban testing out the GRIND basketball shooting machine on 'Shark Tank' (ABC)

Fans were also intrigued by Barbara's comments about GRIND's look. The Shark felt that the machine looked very mechanical and unappealing, however, she promised to beautify it and make it more aesthetic. This had fans divided and wondering how she would do it. A fan wrote, "Can't wait for an update to see how @BarbaraCorcoran makes this product look pretty! #SharkTank." Another fan commented, "Me when ole girl said the design was ugly. #SharkTank #WSBTV #WSB #ABC." "Great deal from Mark Cuban/Barbara. It may not look good in a driveway but schools/universities would eat that hoop up. #SharkTank," pointed out a fan.




Barbara Corcoran promised to change the 'mechanical' look of the GRIND Basketball machine (Shark Tank/ABC)

Fields appeared to have anticipated these concerns from the Sharks and fans, as he revealed that he was currently working on redesigning GRIND so that it could be used without any power source, and also seemed open to Barb's beautification idea. We can't wait to see an update on GRIND soon, and see what the trio finally ended up with.

'Shark Tank' Season 12 airs every Friday at 8/7c only on ABC. Missed an episode? Been wanting to catch up? Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. Not just that, you can also watch old seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

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