Owner Mark Cuban takes exception with those who believe he has to make a decision now on players who would be trade bait if his Dallas Mavericks continue losing games at a rapid pace.
“I’d say what’s the point of addressing that now?” Cuban asked before Monday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. “We’ll know when we know, and it won’t be a surprise.
“Because if we’re not winning games it’ll be one thing, and if we’re winning a bunch of games by 25 points over teams over .500 — even if they’re on the back end of a back-to-back or not — we’ll have a different attitude. It just depends on the circumstances, and we’re not going to get all over-anxious and we’re not going to panic.”
Questions keep popping up from fans who want the Mavs to tank games and get rid of proven veterans who have some value so they can improve their position in the NBA Draft Lottery. But Cuban and the Mavs — they took a 4-15 record into Monday’s game — are not in the mood for intentionally losing games.
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And if the time comes when dumping the roster is the best way to go, Cuban said then so be it.
“Our record will tell us,” Cuban said. “There’s no fake news sites that lets you change your NBA record and get everybody to believe them.
Some 157 teams in NBA history have started a season with a 5-15 or worse record, and only seven made the playoffs. The last team to do it was the Chicago Bulls, who had Tyson Chandler and Ben Gordon and started the 2004-05 season 5-15 but wound up 47-35.
Cuban is hoping his team, once it gets healthy, can make a similar run and qualify for the playoffs for the 16th time in the past 17 seasons.
“The one thing I have liked is guys keep on playing hard and we keep on getting better,” Cuban said. “We’ve got the (second) toughest schedule (through the first 15 games) in the NBA, and almost all of them were on the road and a lot of our guys were hurt.
“That’s not the circumstances that you use to try to make a decision.”
Cuban wasn’t surprised that Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr recently told a Bay Area newspaper reporter that he used marijuana to help alleviate the pain in his back last season.
“That’s Steve’s personality,” Cuban said. “I can’t say we’re best friends, but Steve will say what’s on his mind and understand that it’s going to get a rise out of people.
“He probably said it because he’s curious what the response was going to be. He probably wanted to create the conversation.”
Kerr suffered a spinal fluid leak during surgery to repair a ruptured disk last season and said he used marijuana twice during the past 18 months to help him deal with chronic pain.