Mavericks owner Mark Cuban fined $600K for public pro-tanking comments

Amid fallout from a recently published Sports Illustrated investigation highlighting rampant misconduct throughout the Dallas Mavericks organization, Mavs owner Mark Cuban has been fined $600,000 by the NBA for making public pro-tanking comments.

Here's the NBA's press release:

NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2018 – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $600,000 for public statements detrimental to the NBA, it was announced today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

Cuban's comments, which concerned his perspective on the team's competitive success this season, were made during a podcast that posted on Feb. 18.

On an episode of the House Call with Dr. J podcast, Cuban suggested to Hall of Famer Julius Erving that it was in Mavericks' best interest to lose as much as possible for the rest of the season.

"I'm probably not supposed to say this, but, like, I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night, and here we are, you know, we weren't competing for the playoffs. I was like, 'Look, losing is our best option,'" Cuban said on the podcast. "Adam [Silver] would hate hearing that, but I at least sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans were going to be this summer, that we're not going to tank again. This was, like, a year-and-a-half tanking, and that was too brutal for me. But being transparent, I think that's the key to being kind of a players owner and having stability."

Cuban blamed his slip-up on being starstruck by Erving.

Tanking has been a hot-button issue in the NBA for years, so much so that changes were made to the draft lottery process to decrease the incentive for teams to lose. Staring in 2019, the team with the worst record in the NBA will no longer have a significant advantage to earn the top pick. Instead the teams with the three worst records will all have the same odds of landing the No. 1 pick.

The Mavericks are currently 18-40, tied with five other teams for the fewest wins in the NBA. Dallas had made the playoffs in 14 of 15 seasons before missing the postseason last year.

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