Dallas were fined $750,000 on Friday for “conduct detrimental to the league” after resting key players while their play-in hopes were still alive.
In their 115-112 loss to Chicago on April 7, the Mavs rested quite a number of starters including Kyrie Irving and the league subsequently conducted an investigation following their blatant disregard for the rules.
The team were reportedly wanting to start the tanking process much sooner but their stars Luka Doncic and Irving weren’t on board, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.
“The tanking was actually supposed to begin sooner,” O’Connor said via FanDuel TV. “My sources say that in late March, Dallas coaches met with players to discuss a plan for Markieff Morris and JaVale McGee to play heavier minutes. That is when the tanking was supposed to begin but Luka, and especially Kyrie, were agitated that the team was waving the white flag and both refused to sit.”
Dallas governor Mark Cuban has admitted to tanking before and been fined, so it’s clearly something that doesn’t bother the billionaire too much.
After receiving the fine, Cuban told DallasBasketball.com that he would match that fine with a donation to an unspecified charity, so at least some good came out of it.
The Mavericks, just one year after reaching the Western Conference Finals, didn’t enter the postseason for the first time since 2019.
There has been a lot of chatter about whether Irving and even Doncic will stay with the organization next season but their GM is confident they will stay.