Less than 24 hours removed from reports of "predatory sexual behavior" taking place inside the Dallas Mavericks workplace, team owner and Shark Tank personality Mark Cuban was hit with a $600,000 fine by the NBA for openly admitting to his team tanking this season.
Cuban was busted after admitting on Dr. J's podcast that he had sat down with team members and told losing was the "best option" for the franchise going forward.
"I'm probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night ... and I said, 'Look, losing is our best option,'" Cuban said.
Purposefully losing, also known as tanking, has been a strategy reportedly attempted by teams in the past to acquire higher draft picks in the following year's draft for better up-and-coming talent, though it's heavily looked down upon by league officials.
The original report of sexual harassment was not made towards Cuban, but rather former Mavericks president and CEO Terdema Ussery as well as keeping Mavs.com reporter Earl Sneed on staff despite two reports of domestic abuse. The report was released by Sports Illustrated late Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday Cuban responded to the claims in an interview with ESPN. He opted not to comment on the accusations against Ussery until a full investigation is completed by a New York Law firm, but did take full responsibility for the handling of Sneed.
"I want to be clear: I'm not putting the blame on anybody else," Cuban told ESPN. "It came down to my final decision that I made."
"What I missed — and it was truly a f—up on my part because I was not there [at the Mavericks' office] — I looked at everything anecdotally. My real f—up was I didn't recognize the impact it would have on all the other employees. I looked at this as a one-off situation where, OK, if I don't do anything, this person could go out there and do damage on another women another time. Or do I say, can we get him counseling to try to prevent that from happening again? I thought I was doing the right thing at the time.0comments
"What I missed, again, is I didn't realize the impact that it would have on the workplace and on the women that worked here and how it sent a message to them that, if it was OK for Earl to do that, who knows what else is OK in the workplace? I missed that completely. I missed it completely."
The fine, while enormous to most people, is a mere drop in the bucket for Cuban. According to Forbes, he's currently worth $3.7 billion as the Mavericks owner, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment and chairman of AXS TV.