Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner and investor on ABC's Shark Tank, has been penalized for his remarks about "tanking" the remainder of the Mavs season. On a podcast with Julius Irving, Cuban revealed a recent conversation he had with his team, saying "losing is our best option," in order to be productive next year. Cuban was subsequently fined $600,000 by the NBA for his comments. This is the largest fine ever given to Cuban by the league.
There's a lot to unpack there, not to mention a whole other scandal in the Maverick's front office last week, but the most striking fact may be Cuban's actual penalty cost. Cuban has an estimated net worth of 3.7 billion dollars. That makes his fine basically the equivalent of taking $1 away from someone who has $6,000. I have no clue what kind of message the NBA is trying to send, but boy do they look dumb. It just makes Cuban look like an even bigger boss.
Hey Adam Silver, if you don't want teams tanking, stop incentivizing losing through the draft lottery. And if you won't change the system, then stop complaining about teams working strategically to better themselves for future seasons. The fans like you, Mr. Silver, don't make them hate you like they hate Roger Goodell.
And it's not the fact that the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver have any problem with tanking. They have always been totally aware of it, and so has every other sports league. It's taboo. They never acknowledge it but are quick to discourage it whenever it is discussed. It's not hypocritical, but it is very selective and it is advertised a lot more than it is enforced. It's kind of like the NCAA whining about paying players while getting rich off jerseys and tickets.
My biggest issue with this, however, is the fact that it's against Mark Cuban. This is the guy who invested a million dollars into the BeatBox Beverages wine-box company and turned a profit. The guy who out-bid the founder of FUBU on an ice cream investment. The man is a king. He's probably going to run for president in 2020 and win the vote in a landslide. He's everyone's favorite owner. I'm thinking the NBA ought to apologize to Cuban and the Mavs organization for punishing them. There are probably 7 or 8 teams in the NBA currently competing for last place, but only one of them is upfront with the public, and that's the one that got fined. Look, I want competitive basketball just as much as the next guy, but Mark Cuban is a bro. I'll root for a cool billionaire over an authoritative company any day. So NBA, get off Mark's back or you'll regret it when he's ordering nuke strikes in 2021.