Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Denies Purposeful Tanking to Spite Knicks

Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Denies Purposeful Tanking to Spite Knicks
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Dal­las Mav­er­icks own­er Mark Cuban has denied that his team pur­pose­ful­ly tanked at the end of last sea­son in order to get back at the New York Knicks. Cuban claims the Mav­er­icks were sim­ply focused on rebuild­ing and devel­op­ing their younger players.

The Mav­er­icks sat out star play­ers like Luka Don­cic and Kyrie Irv­ing for the final two games of the 2022–23 sea­son, despite still hav­ing a chance to make the play-in tournament. 

This allowed them to retain their first-round draft pick, which end­ed up being used to select Duke cen­ter Dereck Live­ly II, a key part of Dal­las’ run to the NBA Finals this year.

The NBA fined the Mav­er­icks $750,000 for the move, view­ing it as an attempt to delib­er­ate­ly lose games. How­ev­er, Cuban insists it was not per­son­al against the Knicks, who would have received the Mav­er­icks’ pick if it fell out­side the top 10 as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

“We nev­er tanked any­thing,” Cuban told the New York Post. “We just decid­ed to play our younger play­ers the last cou­ple of games.” He added, “I’m not a revenge guy.”

Despite the crit­i­cism, the Mav­er­icks’ strat­e­gy ulti­mate­ly paid off, as Live­ly devel­oped into an impor­tant piece for their Finals appear­ance. Cuban brushed off the per­cep­tion that the team did any­thing under­hand­ed, say­ing “I don’t care. Peo­ple give me s— all the time.”

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