A day after the Dallas Mavericks were the subject of a shocking exposé on the team’s inappropriate workplace environment, things got worse for the team. Mark Cuban, the team’s owner, was fined $600,000 by the N.B.A. on Wednesday for making public comments that were deemed detrimental to the league.
Cuban is no stranger to fines, having now amassed around $2.6 million in penalties since purchasing the Mavericks in January 2000. But unlike his typical infractions, which have come for criticism of in-game officiating, this instance involved comments he made to Julius Erving on the “House Call With Dr. J” podcast about intentionally losing to improve draft position.
Tanking, which has become fashionable for many teams in recent seasons, is a touchy subject for Adam Silver, the N.B.A.’s commissioner, who has been working to maintain the league’s competitive nature.
The difference was reflected in the amount of the fine, which is a personal high for Cuban, whose previous record had been a $500,000 fine for complaining about officiating in 2002.
During the podcast, Cuban was candid as usual, openly admitting what anyone who has watched the Mavericks this season could see was true.
“I’m probably not supposed to say this,” Cuban said, “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.’ ”