Last week wasn’t a very good week for Dallas Maverick owner and possible future presidential candidate Mark Cuban. The Mavs are embroiled in a horrible front office sexual harassment scandal and Cuban was also fined $600,00 by the NBA for “conduct detrimental to the league” for comments made on a podcast involving “tanking” as the “best option” for his then floundering Maverick outfit.
On the Monday, February 19, 2018, edition of Julius Erving’s podcast … House Call with Dr. J, Cuban gave his thoughts on losing purposely to improve the Mavs position in the NBA draft lottery.
“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 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 of 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.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver could have fined Cuban up to $1 million for the comments according to NBA bylaws. Cuban’s players must have taken the chat to heart as the Mavs were spanked by the Lakers 124-102 and downed at Utah 97-90 in two games. In regards to the Maverick’s tanking in their final 22 games of the season, the Mavs would need to be far more subtle than some of the other teams out there currently tanking. The Mavs are currently a bottom five team in regards to talent to begin with which is why they are in this position to begin with. Watch the minutes played by Mav veterans Harrison Barnes and Wesley Mathews and also super rookie Dennis Smith. Substantial decreases in minutes and bench time during crunch time would be a certain indicator.
There are currently eight teams within two games of each other for the worst record in the NBA and best chance of getting the number one pick in the May 15th draft lottery. It’s going to be very important to do due diligence in keeping an eye on these teams down the stretch as it pertains to handicapping and betting these teams but more on that next time.