Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban did what many of his fans wanted him to do, tank.
Cuban admitted this to the Dan Patrick Show one day after his Mavericks were officially slated to select ninth in the June 2017 NBA Draft.
"Once we were eliminated from the playoffs, we did everything possible to lose games," Cuban said.
This is not breaking news because many NBA owners have done the same thing. Many clubs are tanking before they are officially eliminated. Cuban just had the guts to admit his team was tanking.
The Lakers were doing all they could be lose games at the end of the season to protect their lottery pick and get more chances at the top overall draft pick with a worse record.
I asked Cuban what is the way to solve team from tanking.
“The first step towards fixing an issue is admitting to the facts and reality,” Cuban replied. “I think it should be more like free agency with each team in the lottery having more or less money based on record.”
Dallas, according to Cuban, decided to allow young players more of an opportunity to play major minutes as their strategy to lose games.
Yogi Ferrell, Nerlens Noel, Dorain Finney-Smith, Nico Brussino found themselves with lots of playing time in the final 13 games of the season.
Dallas would only win three games from March 21, 2017 to the end of the regular season.
Dallas was officially eliminated April 1 meaning they won only two of their last seven NBA contests.
Cuban told The Dan Patrick Show the Mavs players were not throwing games, nor were they told to do so.
“Once a guy walks on the court, they're going to play their heart out, Cuban said. “Particularly the young guys because they have something to prove. So Dorian Finney-Smith, Yogi Ferrell, there's nothing you could say or do to them to say 'Don't play hard or try to lose this game.' That wouldn't be right, and I don't think NBA team would do that. But when you have Salah Mejri shooting threes -- you know the season's in the tank.”
The Mavericks finished the 2016-17 season 33-49.
One smart marketing ploy Cuban used to not admit publicly during the season the club went into tank mode was the Tony Romo Maverick For-A-Day stunt which the fans in Dallas ate up with a passion. The Romo game was the final home contest of the year for Dallas.