Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $600,000 (488,214 euros) for statements detrimental to the NBA, commissioner Adam Silver announced on Wednesday, days after Cuban suggested his team should "tank".
Cuban said on an episode of Julius Erving's podcast "House Call with Dr. J" at the weekend that it would be in the Mavericks' best interest to lose for the rest of the season in order to improve their position for the NBA draft.
"I'm probably not supposed to say this, 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,'" Cuban said, adding that Silver "would hate hearing that".
The Mavericks' 18-40 record is third-worst in the NBA. Under the NBA's draft lottery system, the team with the worst record has a 25 percent chance of gaining the top pick in the draft in June.
Wednesday's fine is another black mark for the Mavs. It comes on the heels of a Sports Illustrated story detailing sexual harassment claims against former Mavericks president and Chief Executive Officer Terdema Ussery, who left the team in 2015.
Two women told the magazine that Ussery made requests for sex and touched women's legs during meetings as a culture of harassment flourished in the team's business offices for years.
The article also touched on the team's handling of the domestic violence case against Earl K. Sneed, a writer on Mavs.com who was arrested in 2012 on suspicion of assaulting his then-girlfriend and was involved in 2014 in a violent incident with a female Mavericks employee.
Sneed was sacked on Tuesday before the Sports Illustrated article came out, with Cuban telling ESPN on Wednesday that it was a "horrible mistake in hindsight" not to fire him sooner.