The NBA has fined Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600K for suggesting that his team could benefit by losing games for the rest of the season, tweets Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post.
Cuban’s comments came during a recent appearance on Julius Erving’s House Call with Dr. J podcast. The outspoken owner admitted to telling his players that accumulating losses would have long-term benefits for the organization.
“I’m probably not supposed to say this, but 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. “[Commissioner] 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.”
The Mavericks are third in our current Reverse Standings with an 18-40 record, but are locked in a tight race for the highest lottery picks. They are just a half-game behind the Suns and Hawks for the league’s worst record, with nine teams having at least 36 losses already.
The NBA has long been sensitive about public comments on tanking and has made changes to the draft that will take effect next season. The new format will reduce the benefit of losing, giving the league’s worst team a 14% chance at the top pick, while the sixth-worst team has a 9% shot. Right now, the team with the worst record has a 25% chance to land the first choice.
The fine continues a horrible day for Cuban, who has been explaining how the Mavericks became the target of an extensive workplace misconduct scandal.