Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $600,000 by the NBA for comments on tanking. It is the largest fine he has ever received from the league.
"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 on the Dr. J podcast with Hall of Famer Julius Irving.
"(Commissioner Adam Silver) would hate hearing that, but I at least sat down and I explained it to them," he added. "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 18–40 on the season, which is currently the third-worst record in the NBA. The team with the worst record at the end of the season has a 25% chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick at the NBA Draft lottery. Changes have been implemented after 2019 so that the percentage drops to 14%.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told Eddie Sefko of Sports Day that he talked with the team and Cuban about the comments and added that Cuban "apologized, profusely" and was "embarrassed by it."
Dirk Nowitzki told Sefko "players never play to lose" and he'll "never stand for losing on purpose."