Mark Cuban Fined $600K For Tanking Comments

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.

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21 thoughts on “Mark Cuban Fined $600K For Tanking Comments

  1. Kenleyfornia74

    Adam Silver is terrible. Adress the serious competitive balance issues in the leauge then fine someone for saying tanking is the best option

  2. southbeachbully

    I don’t get the backlash. What are bad teams supposed to do? Should he make trade deadline deals that might help his team win 10 more games? Is it in the Mavs best interest to win 40 games? Will the Mavs be able to drat an impact player with a 10th or 11th overall pick? No. Their is no farm system like the mlb has. They have the D-league which is for players that are very “fringy”. Unlike baseball where there’s tremendous talent at the top 3 levels. Most of the grads from the D league are 10 day contract guys and once in a while a player might become the solid rotation guy. The NBA doesn’t have the same kind of talent pool they can recruit from like the NFL. After the 1st round of NBA draft there’s usually a steep fall off in talent. In the NL you can get all-stars in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds.

    In the NBA you MIGHT be able to bring in 3 guys via draft and FA that can help the team but that’s it. If I were the owner of a really bad team I would strongly have to consider a 3-5 year plan that included loosing games for the purpose of getting a better 1st round slot.

    • Rewane

      Cuban outright saying losing is better for the Mavs crosses line. A team can tank however it wants but shouldn’t public admit to doing it. Saying it publicly basically tells everyone that the current draft system isn’t working as intended, which should be every team compete as hard as it can and then the worst team gets the highest odds of landing a top pick. Silver probably took this as an insult to the league.

    • hiflew

      You are right, they could NEVER draft an impact player at #10. It’s not like Paul Pierce or Joe Johnson or Paul George were drafted #10. Oh wait, they were. Steph Curry was the #7 pick. Kawhi Leonard was #15. Just getting a top 3 pick doesn’t mean jack either. In fact, most of the #2 picks this century have been disappointments. Good players can be found all throughout the draft. Not every great player went to a team in the top 3.

      In fact, it might even be a hindrance in some cases. For example, there are a consensus top 3 players in a draft and you have pick #3. Let’s say that player does not really fit your system, but you can’t really justify NOT picking him because of the talent level. However, when you pick at #10 you might not have the full draft class to choose from, but you can pick exactly the player that fits because most of the talent at that point is fairly similar. It’s all about getting lucky and finding the right fit. That’s why they call it the lottery.

      • steve

        Yes the draft can be somewhat of a crap shoot in terms of the player selected, but you also should consider the value the pick has pre draft on the trade market. If you’re rebuilding you should be trying to maximize every single asset you have, and there’s generally a big difference in value between trading #3 and #10. If cuban thinks winning it all is not a feasible option and that bottoming out would produce better assets and cost cutting, then why not try to land in the Top 5, more leverage on the trade market or 1-5 pick of the entire board. After all didn’t this guys teams kinda embody what the league wanted, which is everyone trying to compete for it all each season. The Mav’s pre-youth movement seemed to perennially whiff on major FA signings, use the cap space to sign options B and C to 1-2 year deals with options in order to maintain cap space, and then get bounced in the 1st or 2nd round of the playoffs. Don’t get me wrong the one title team was pretty sick, but Cubans been following the league mantra and has had nothing to show for it since that lone title. So decides to get with the times and gets a ticket? You reap what you sow.

  3. YankeesBillsNets305

    I see a forced sale of the Mavs coming down the pipe. Only a matter of time imo. The SI story is a killer. I love Cuban as a person but if he let his organization go to hell than he should be forced to sell.

  4. TJECK109

    Cuban owns the team, he has to deal with the ramifications of a losing team which is a drop in attendance etc. I don’t have a problem with him telling the truth. You have teams like the Warriors and Rockets in the west and the Mavs can’t compete with them. He only has one option; prior to this I believe Cuban spent whatever it cost to try to win. He has a right to run his team as he sees most beneficial.

    • LordBanana

      He has a right to run his team as he sees fit but has to follow the rules of NBA ownership that he agreed to when he bought the team. It’s pretty obvious that telling your team that losing is the best option is not in the interest of the NBA and will get a well deserved hefty fine.

      • Thomas Swanson

        Mark Cuban was David Sterns best buddy when it came to paying fines for speaking his mind. He was doing it as a joke and people enjoyed it.Cuban is one of the better owners.
        For the sexual harrassment, it’s no different than Isaiah Thomas being fired by the Knicks, Marshall Faulk and his coanchor by the NFL Network, or Donovan McNabb by ESPN.

        • Thomas Swanson

          Cuban also said he wished the NBA would realign the conferences. He wouldn’t be rebuilding right now. Just like LeBron has been afraid to play for a team in the western conference. The Western Conference has been the better conference for several years. LeBron is against adjusting the playoff format. Surprise! Everybody knows something needs to be done to equal out the conferences. They just don’t know how to do it yet!

          • Dodgethis

            It’s simple. Stop dividing the country by east and west. Eliminate conferences altogether. Have the league made up of regional divisions. Top team from each division plus some kind of wildcard system for the last few spots.

  5. JamesW26

    I’m guessing we can lock the Mavs into not winning the lottery this summer now, right?

  6. RockHard

    Everyone in the NBA knows the draft system is broken. Cuban has commented on it multiple times.. Cuban said what any intelligent fan of a rebuilding team already knows.. Oh god forbid he say it publicly, soooooo much worse. /s

  7. Z-A

    Could be worse. The League strapped the Sixers with both Coleangelos. I would have rather they been fined 600k.

  8. Dodgethis

    The draft isn’t the issue. It’s the crazy liberal (It’s not a political term fyi) financial regulations that force teams into mediocrity. If you can’t develop talant or get lucky on late draft gens there is no avenue for team building. Other sports allow team building through free agency and trades. The NBA has such tight restrictions teams simply can’t form. The warriors got lucky with a gamble on Steph curry who was crazy injury prone and spent lots of time injured early in his career. They got even luckier with draymond green who they got in the second round, and who Steve Kerr turned into a top player in the league. It took a few years but the warriors eventually made it work and have gotten pretty creative and had guys take pay cuts to make the numbers work. The salary cap system coupled with a shallow draft and overbearing regulations, if a team like the Mavs can’t figure out how to draft and develop they are doomed. Especially with a nerdy fanboy for a owner who meddles constantly.

    • Thomas Swanson

      Free agency is a big part of the problem. Most players prefer the western conference.

      • chesteraarthur

        Having a cap and max contracts is bad. If every team can pay a player the same amount of money, it makes sense they will just go to the popular destinations or good situations.

        What player wakes up and decides (just an excample), “Hey I want to sign in Detroit”?

  9. Archie M.

    Mark Cuban is back in the NBA spotlight once more. Polarizing, indifferent, controversial. Cuban at his best whenever he behaves bad.

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