According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined a remarkable $600,000 by the NBA for his comments regarding competitive basketball on Dr. J’s podcast earlier this week.
It seems the NBA took umbrage with these comments specifically:
Here we are, not competing for the playoffs and I said, ‘Look, losing is our best option.’
Cuban responded to the news today, also speaking with Charania:
On NBA's fine for his "tanking" comments to Julius Erving, Cuban tells me: "Dr. J is my childhood idol. I got caught up fanboying him and said the wrong thing in the wrong way." https://t.co/HbhaV674gZ— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 21, 2018
Considering how in-depth Cuban got with his overall comments on the podcast, this explanation doesn’t exactly pass muster. But considering how he’s reacted to all the news the past 48 hours, this is actually par for the course.
But here’s the thing... the Mavericks are not tanking! At least not yet, and it’s going to be hard to convince me otherwise. The Mavericks are bad and have been bad the entire year. That is a fact, no matter the argument for why they should be better than their record.
That ownership is acknowledging that doesn’t change anything. Given the team roster, they can’t actually DO anything different. Dennis Smith Jr. can’t play 48 minutes, neither can any of the other players. Carlisle plays a deep bench and has all season. That’s not going to change, even if some of the older players now take a game or two off.
Paying $600,000 because of a series of statements that don’t hold up to the actual practice of playing games is truly baffling.