Owner Mark Cuban said Sunday that having the Dallas Mavericks tank games in order to improve position in the NBA Draft — an idea some fans advocate — is not a course of action his organization will pursue.
But Cuban did say with a wry smile: “Obviously we don’t have to try [to lose]. It’s kind of been a self-fulfilling prophecy, and it’s not like we have a lot of young guys who aren’t playing.
“If we’re not winning, we obviously are going to get a good pick. And if we’re going to get a good pick and that player turns out to be something, I’d rather have him slide into a good team rather than mess everything up like everybody else seems to have done in the past, and then be four years away from being four years away for a lot longer than four years. And that’s where we don’t want to be.”
We are who our record says we are. And hopefully we get lucky in the draft wherever we end up, and be right back where we were quickly.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who discounts the idea of “tanking” games to improve the team’s draft pick
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
At the end of the day, Cuban recognizes that without Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles) and J.J. Barea (calf), the Mavs (7-20) are a shell of themselves.
“It is what it is,” Cuban said before Sunday’s 99-79 win over Sacramento. “We are who our record says we are.
“And hopefully we get lucky in the draft wherever we end up, and be right back where we were quickly.”
Barnes needs to ‘sell’ fouls
If there’s one thing Mavs management and coaches want Harrison Barnes to do more of is try to sell a foul to the referees.
The Mavs believe Barnes is getting fouled a lot, but the fouls aren’t being called because he’s not doing his part of conveying to the refs that contact was made on the play.
“Part of getting fouls when you attack the basket is acting,’’ Cuban said. “You have to act. I you don’t act, you don’t get the call.’’
Barnes has attempted just 95 free throws in 27 games this season.
“I say, ‘Harrison, you’ve got to throw back your head and yell,’ ” Cuban said. “ ‘If you don’t, because you’re so strong, you’re not going to get the call.’ ”
Craig Sager tribute
Before Sunday’s game against Sacramento, the Mavs observed a moment of silence for TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager, who died Thursday after a two-year bout with cancer.
“Smiles” is the one word Cuban used when describing Sager. “Smiles are underrated, nice is underrated, getting people to smile every time — not many people can say that.”
Sager finally worked his first and only NBA Finals last June, thanks to an agreement with ABC, who was carrying the games.
“Craig is an institution,” Cuban said. “Once he got sick everybody would do anything they could for him.”
Smiles are underrated, nice is underrated, getting people to smile every time — not many people can say that.
Mark Cuban, on the legacy of Craig Sager