Dallas Mavericks Fined $750,000, But Will It Get NBA “Shark” Mark Cuban Closer To Drafting Victor Wembanyama?

The NBA announced on Friday that the Dallas Mavericks organization had been fined $750,000 for conduct detrimental to the league in an elimination game against the Chicago Bulls on April 7. Despite still having a chance to reach the postseason, Dallas sat Kyrie Irving for the entire game against the Bulls, with star Luka Dončić playing about one quarter.

The league’s investigation took less than a week to determine that the Mavericks violated its player resting policy and wanted to lose that game to the Bulls “to improve the chances of keeping its first-round pick in the 2023 NBA draft.”

The Loss Of A Boss

Through actions and public statements, they demonstrated the organization’s desire to lose the game to improve the chances of keeping their first-round pick in the 2023 NBA draft. The league did not find that the players who participated in the game were not playing to win.

“The Dallas Mavericks’ decision to restrict key players from fully participating in an elimination game last Friday against Chicago undermined the integrity of our sport,” said Joe Dumars, NBA Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations. “The Mavericks’ actions failed our fans and our league.”

The league said it did not find that the Dallas players who participated in the game were not playing to win. Dallas head coach Jason Kidd said that before the game, the decision to sit players was made by “the organization.” After the game, he referenced the decision as being made by the top Mavericks brass: owner Mark Cuban and general manager Nico Harrison.

Cuban, a tech billionaire and star investor on the television show “Shark Tank,” is a highly competitive individual. Worth $4.6 billion per CNBC, Cuban was ready to retire with the $2 million he had in the bank at age 32 after he sold his first company, MicroSolutions. Why didn’t he retire? He ultimately didn’t stop working because he was admittedly “too competitive,” he said on the “Re:Thinking” podcast last year.

That spirit of competition affects all aspects of his life, including his NBA basketball franchise. The incident is not the first for which the Mavericks were fined after the league looked into potential tanking; it is the second.

Cuban’s White Whale

In February 2018, the NBA fined Cuban $600,000 for comments about tanking during a podcast with Basketball Hall of Fame player Julius Erving. The Mavericks were well on their way to what became a 24-58 season when Cuban spoke to Erving and discussed tanking. Commissioner Adam Silver called those “public statements detrimental to the NBA.”

Now that the losing is done and the Mavs missed the play-in tournament, which could ensure the team a top-10 draft pick this summer, all eyes are on the potential chance of winning the lottery and getting a crack at selecting French phenom Victor Wembanyama. The 19-year-old is not officially in the draft yet, but Mavericks nation knows he could get them closer to a championship.

“He’s a freak,” soon-to-be Hall of Fame inductee and former Dallas Mavericks franchise player Dirk Nowitzki said to the Associated Press. “I mean, unbelievable. You always think you’ve seen it all during your life and your career and history of the league, and then somebody else comes along. Kevin Durant comes along, a 7-foot-2 two-guard. Now we have a 7-foot-4 two-guard. This kid is unbelievable.”

The Mavericks caught a fine of three-quarters of a million dollars, but if they are in closer contention to snag Wembanyama, were Cuban’s “Shark Tank”-level risky competitive instincts right?

More news from our partners:

Shedeur Sanders’ Make Or Break Season Depends On His Grasp Of Colorado OC Sean Lewis’ Frenetic Offense

Back to top