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Mark Cuban Fined $600,000 By NBA for Admitting Team Was “Tanking”

The National Basketball Association fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 earlier this week for admitting his team was tanking, that is, when teams actually try to get less wins in total to help their position in the upcoming draft. 

Cuban explained to NBA Hall of Famer Julius Erving that he met with some of his players over the last week and told them “losing is our best option.” Cuban was letting Erving know the steps he takes to be a transparent owner.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the large fine related to “public statements detrimental to the NBA.”

“I'm probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night,” Cuban commented to Erving. “And here we are. We weren't competing for the playoffs. I was like, ‘Look, losing is our best option.’"

“Adam would hate to be hearing that. But at least I sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans are going to be this summer, that we're not going to tank again. This is like a year and a half of tanking. That was too brutal for me,” he continued.

Note that tanking does not mean players intentionally lose games. 

Tanking typically means teams giving younger players more playing time instead of experienced veterans who give the team a better shot at winning.

Last year the Mavs got rid of aging veterans Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut close to the trading deadline and had their highest draft pick (No. 9) since 1998. 

They ended up with rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., a talented rising star.

This year the Mavs traded veteran guard Devin Harris to Denver and Dallas (18-40) is tied for the fewest wins in the NBA and among seven teams at the All-Star break.

Coach Rick Carlisle noted he had spoken to Cuban in “great detail” about the comments  and that he had apologized for them.

“He's embarrassed by it,” Carlisle highlighted in an interview after the first team pratice post-All-Star break. “As far as our team, we've played with a lot of fight all year long, and we will continue to do that and that's how we're going to proceed.”

20-year Mav vet Dirk Nowitzki took Cuban's comments as normal.

“Players never play to lose,” said Nowitzki, the franchise leader in nearly every major category. “It might happen, but you don't play for it. I still love to compete, that's one big reason why I'm still out there. I'll never stand for losing on purpose. It's just not who I am.”

This is the biggest fine ever for Cuban, surpassing the $500,000 he had to cough up in 2002 for criticizing director of officials Ed Rush when he said he wouldn't hire Rush to manage a Dairy Queen.

Note that Cuban has been fined over $2 million as an owner, most of it for criticism of referees.

“I earned it,” Cuban admitted in an interview when asked about the current fine. “I got excited talking to Dr. J and said something I shouldn't have.”

In the NBA's apparent “tank battle” this year, several teams are trying to get better position anticipating a highly-regarded 2018 draft class. 

Some of the top names in the 2018 draft include Arizona center Deandre Ayton, Texas center Mohamed Bamba, Duke power forward Marvin Bagley III, Oklahoma guard Trae Young, and Slovenian Luka Doncic.

Source: MailOnline
Photo: YouTube

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