Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $600,000 for saying that his team should tank, or purposely lose, 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. “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 added that tanking is “brutal,” but he feels that it is the best option for his team for the remainder of the season in order to set up success in the future.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the backing to this fine was due to “public statements detrimental to the NBA.”
Cuban backtracked following his comments, saying that he got a little ahead of himself.
“I earned it,” Cuban told The Associated Press when asked about the latest fine. “I got excited talking to Dr. J and said something I shouldn’t have.”
Dirk Nowitzki, who has been the face of the Dallas Mavericks ever since he came into the league, said he never will stand for losing in purpose.
“I’ve been around too long,” Nowitzki said. “We’re all competitors. I think the young guys, when you’re out there, you’ve got to compete. If you don’t, you lose market value. You might get hurt. There’s all these things that can happen if you don’t play your minutes hard. That’s my advice to all the young guys — play your minutes hard, get better and whatever happens, happens. I think players never play to lose in this league. It might happen, but we don’t play for it. I still love to compete. That’s one big reason why I’m still out here — because I enjoy being out there and playing against some of these guys that are half my age and trying to be out there and help the guys win or help the guys get better or improve and use my experience.”
The Mavericks currently have an 18-40 record, making it the third worst record in the league.