Cuban hit with hefty fine
DALLAS, Texas (AP):
The NBA fined outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 yesterday for comments about tanking during a podcast with Hall of Famer Julius Erving.
Commissioner Adam Silver said the fine was for "public statements detrimental to the NBA". The league said the podcast with Erving was posted Sunday, the day the All-Star game was played in Los Angeles.
Cuban said during the 30-minute interview that he met recently with some of his players and told them "losing is our best option". Cuban was trying to illustrate to Erving how he believes he is a transparent owner.
"I'm probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night," Cuban said. "And here we are. We weren't competing for the play-offs. 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."
The Mavericks dumped veterans Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut around the trading deadline last season and had their highest draft pick (No. 9) since ending up with Dirk Nowitzki from that spot in 1998. They drafted rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. one of the league's rising stars.
After trading veteran guard Devin Harris to Denver at the deadline this season, Dallas (18-40) is tied for the fewest wins in the NBA and among seven teams with 18 or 19 victories at the All-Star break.