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Friday, October 19, 2018

Articles tagged: Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban thinks Dirk Nowitzki could play beyond this season

Dirk Nowitzki

Many believe that the 2018-19 season will be the last of Dirk Nowitzki’s famed NBA career, but Mark Cuban thinks it’s possible The Big German goes further.

In a recent interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, the Dallas Mavericks owner talked Nowitzki and when retirement might or might not be coming for him.

“Dirk knows how to take care of his body,” said Cuban. “He is so precise and so meticulous about his diet and his exercise and his routine. And he’s not going to lose his shot. So, depending on what happens to our squad, he might play beyond this year.

“I’d say it’s under 50 percent right now,” Cuban added when asked how much of a possibility he thought there was that Nowitzki would play longer. “But if he’s playing 77 games and we’re getting better and we’re starting to win games? You know what a competitor he is — he’s going to want to come back.”

As Cuban hinted at, Nowitzki played in a remarkable 77 games last season. He also had one of the best three-point shooting years of his entire career (40.9 percent) and now has a reloaded roster to play with. This summer saw the Mavs add DeAndre Jordan and rookie Luka Doncic to an already intriguing young core with under-27 talents Dennis Smith Jr and Harrison Barnes.

Still though, Nowitzki is, of course, 40 years old and is about to enter his 21st year in the NBA. The 13-time All-Star’s mobility is pretty much entirely gone at this point too, and the comments that he made about his health in recent months were not too encouraging either. As such, Nowitzki’s pure physical condition will probably dictate his future plans more so than anything else.

H/T SportsDay

Mark Cuban takes swipe at MLB after sports wagering ban is lifted

Mark Cuban

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday to overturn the federal ban that has made sports wagering illegal outside of Nevada since 1992, and Mark Cuban seems to think Major League Baseball stands to gain the most from the decision.

Not long after the 7-2 ruling was announced, Cuban was asked for his reaction. He took that as an opportunity to rag on the sport of baseball.

Cuban’s stance, of course, is merely his own opinion. Some people would tell you sitting through an entire baseball game is a lot easier than watching an NBA game in which the outcome is basically determined in the final two minutes, but that’s an argument for another day.

Baseball has been especially fearful of ties to gambling because of a long history of corruption that dates back to the 1919 World Series. You could say the NBA should be just as concerned after what happened with disgraced official Tim Donaghy, but commissioner Adam Silver has long been pushing for the legalization of betting.

While the federal ban on sports gambling has been lifted, states still ultimately get to decide how they will proceed. Sports leagues will also now turn their attention toward making sure players, coaches, officials and others associated with teams and the outcomes of games do not compromise the integrity of the sport.

Former bar employee says woman ‘jumped’ during photo with Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban was not charged with sexual assault after an accusation was made against him at a nightclub in 2011, and witness accounts were one of the reasons the case was never pursued. Had police spoken with Christopher White, you have to wonder if things would have gone a bit different.

White used to work at the Barrel Room, which is the Portland nightclub where a woman says Cuban slid his hand under her jeans and penetrated her vagina while the two were posing for a photo together. In an interview with The Oregonian on Wednesday, White said he saw the alleged victim react in a startled manner while the photo was being taken.

“She jumped away like she was not happy with him,” White said, noting that he was standing about 20 feet from Cuban and the woman. “That’s when the energy in the room kind of exploded. … She definitely jumped after he had put his arm around her.”

A report published by Williamette Week on Tuesday reviewed 50 pages of police records related to the incident, and the police report stated that the woman submitted seven photos of her and Cuban as evidence to support her claim. The detective in charge of the investigation described two of the photos as “significant” and said they show Cuban’s shoulder lowered in a manner that would indicate he was reaching toward the woman’s buttocks. White indicated he saw something similar.

“I didn’t have a camera on his hand,” he said. “But it sure looked like it was too low to be just on her back.”

White, who was a security worker at the nightclub, said Cuban appeared extremely intoxicated and was slurring his words when he arrived. He said he recalls Cuban being upset after he was told he would not be served any alcohol. He also said the Mavericks owner would gesture toward women he wanted to take photographs with, and White felt the way Cuban was touching some of them was inappropriate.

“He was, like, really kind of gropey toward them,” he added. “It just wasn’t how you’d normally pose in a picture with someone.”

None of the employees from the Barrel Room on the night of the incident told police they saw Cuban do anything wrong, but White was never interviewed. A friend confirmed that White told him the same story he told The Oregonian back in 2011 after the alleged assault took place.

Cuban reportedly passed a lie detector test related to the incident, but the fact that he was heavily intoxicated and admitted to police he had been drinking does him no favors.

Mark Cuban passed lie detector test for 2011 sexual assault allegation

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban was accused of sexual assault by a woman at a nightclub in 2011, and the allegation has now come to light in the wake of Sports Illustrated’s bombshell report about the Dallas Mavericks harboring a hostile work environment.

Nigel Jaquiss of of the Portland, Ore., publication Williamette Week obtained a 50-page police report from an incident in May 2011 in which a woman claimed Cuban sexually assaulted her while she was posing for a photo with the Mavs owner at a Portland nightclub called the Barrel Room. More specifically, the alleged victim said Cuban “pushed his hand down the back of her jeans and inside her underwear where he cupped his hand over her groin area and inserted the tip of his finger into her vagina.”

The woman, who is now in her 30s and married, briefly spoke with Williamette Week about the incident. While the case was never pursued after prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence, she insists every word she told police was the truth.

“I filed the report because what he did was wrong,” she said. “I stand behind that report 1,000 percent.”

Cuban has vehemently denied that any such incident took place. His attorney, Stephen Houze, told WW that the accusations are “false” and that the case was thoroughly investigated. Cuban actually chose to speak at length with Portland Police Detective Brendan McGuire, who filed the report, rather than consulting an attorney first. The entire conversation is worth reading, but Cuban was adamant he was innocent and expressed concern over how he would ever prove it.

Houze ordered a polygraph test conducted by former Miami Police Detective Sgt. Warren Holmes days after Cuban spoke with McGuire, and the results supported Cuban’s denial. For what it’s worth, the alleged victim claimed Cuban seemed heavily intoxicated at the time of the incident.

“It was apparent he was very drunk,” the woman’s friend later told police. “His eyes were half closed, he was unstable on his feet, and he was slurring his words.”

It appears Cuban has avoided any potential legal trouble from the 2011 allegation, but the timing of the accusations coming to light is going to look bad given what has been said about the Mavs organization and Cuban’s lack of accountability.

Mark Cuban fined $600K for comments about Mavs tanking

Mark Cuban

The NBA announced on Wednesday that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $600,000 for some recent comments he made about tanking.

The hefty fine is a result of what the NBA has determined were public statements that are detrimental to the league.

In a recent appearance on “The House Call with Dr. J” podcast, Cuban said that he told his team it would be best if they lose for the remainder of the 2017-2018 season.

“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 on the podcast, as transcribed by ESPN.com. “Adam [Silver] would hate hearing that, but I at least sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans were going to be this summer, that we’re not going to tank again. This was, like, a year-and-a-half tanking, and that was too brutal for me. But being transparent, I think that’s the key to being kind of a players owner and having stability.”

This is turning into an extremely rough week for Cuban and the Mavericks. In addition to the $600,000 fine, a bombshell SI report on Tuesday detailed how the Mavs have harbored an uncomfortable and inappropriate workplace for two decades, including allowing a writer to continue to work for them after he was involved in two separate domestic violence incidents. Cuban took the blame on Wednesday for the situation getting to this point, but his excuse for not firing the writer sooner was questionable at best.

Mark Cuban takes blame for ‘horrible mistake’ of not firing Earl Sneed sooner

Mark Cuban

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took responsibility on Wednesday for not firing a former employee sooner after the writer was involved in two separate instances of domestic violence.

Cuban, who fired former Mavs.com writer Earl K. Sneed on Tuesday following the release of a bombshell SI story, told Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com that he made a “horrible mistake in hindsight” and regrets not gathering more information.

“I want to be clear, I’m not putting the blame on anybody else,” Cuban said. “It came down to my final decision that I made. … (In hindsight), I would have fired him and still made him go to counseling.”

Details from a Dallas police report obtained by SI revealed that Sneed sat on top of his ex-girlfriend during an altercation in 2012 and “slapped her on the face and chest.” The woman suffered a fractured wrist and had bruises on her arms and chest. Sneed pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of family violence and was forced to pay a $750 fine, complete community service and enroll in anger management classes. The charges were dismissed upon completion of the sentence.

Cuban admitted that the Mavericks only got Sneed’s side of the story.

“It was bad, but we made a mistake about the whole thing and didn’t pursue what happened with the police after the fact,” he said. “So we got it mostly from Earl’s perspective, and because we didn’t dig in with the details — and obviously it was a horrible mistake in hindsight — we kind of, I don’t want to say took his word for it, but we didn’t see all the gruesome details until just recently. I didn’t read the police report on that until just [Tuesday], and that was a huge mistake obviously.”

Sneed was later involved in another domestic violence incident in 2014, in which a fellow Mavs employee said he got physical with her during an altercation. The woman showed up to work with a swollen face and reported the incident to her supervisor and human resources director Buddy Pittman. Still, Sneed kept his job.

“So when the second time came around … the way I looked at it was — and, again, in hindsight it was a mistake — but I didn’t want to just fire him, because them he would go out there and get hired again and do it somewhere else,” Cuban said. “That’s what I was truly afraid of and that was the discussion we had internally. It was a choice between just firing him and making sure that we had control of him. So I made the decision, it was my decision and again, in hindsight, I would probably do it differently. I made the decision that we would make him go to domestic abuse counseling as a requirement to continued employment, that he was not allowed to be alone without a chaperone in the presence of any other women in the organization or any other women in a business setting at all, and he was not allowed to date anybody [who works for the Mavericks]. From that point on – and the investigators are going to see if we missed anything else – he appeared to abide by all those rules, as far as I knew.”

In other words, Cuban’s excuse is that he was protecting other women who worked for other organizations by allowing Sneed to keep his job. Good luck with that one.

While some will give Cuban credit for taking responsibility, there’s no question the entire situation is a horrible look for him and the Mavs. Sneed’s statement on Tuesday, which you can read here, removed all doubt that Cuban was aware of what had happened, whether he knew all the details or not. The fallout from the SI report could end up being massive.

Mavericks issue statement in response to SI article on uncomfortable workplace

Mark Cuban

The Dallas Mavericks have reacted swiftly and strongly to an article from Sports Illustrated that detailed several examples of how uncomfortable of a work environment they harbored the past two decades.

SI published an article on Tuesday night by Jon Wertheim and Jessica Luther titled “Inside the Corrosive Workplace of the Dallas Mavericks.” The article centers mostly on the team’s former president and CEO for nearly 20 years, Terdema Ussery. The article begins with a strong example of his harassment, which included him saying to a female employee she was going to get gang-banged that weekend.

Beyond that, SI reported multiple examples of sexual inappropriate conduct by Ussery towards female employees.

“Two women claimed to SI that Ussery harassed them for years. These incidents ranged from inappropriate remarks to requests for sex to touching women’s calves and thighs during meetings,” the article states.

SI says Ussery was investigated in 1998 after several complaints of inappropriate behavior. Ussery was retained (and continued working with the team until 2015). The Mavericks brought in a new head of human resources, whom many describe as not being sensitive towards complaints about the work environment.

Ussery ended up leaving for Under Armour but resigned after less than two months on the job following a complaint made by a female employee to human resources about his sexual inappropriateness.

In addition to Ussery, who was the central focus of the piece, SI also reports that Earl K. Sneed, a reporter for the Mavericks’ website, pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge in 2012 and continued to work for the site. In 2014, he allegedly hit a female coworker whom he was dating.

Team owner Mark Cuban says that the HR head has since been suspended and Sneed has been fired.

The team said the following in a statement in response to the article:

“The Mavericks organization takes these allegations extremely seriously. Yesterday we notified the league office and immediately hired outside counsel to conduct a thorough and independent investigation. The investigation will focus on the specific allegations related to this former employee, and will look more broadly at our company’s workplace practices and policies.
[…]
“There is no room for such conduct in the Mavericks’ workplace — or any workplace.

“The Mavericks will provide all necessary resources to ensure that every current and former employee receives appropriate support. We will also conduct comprehensive training through experts and take the necessary steps to ensure that our workplace is a safe, respectful and productive one for all Dallas Mavericks employees.”

Cuban has denied knowledge of the allegations and vows to clean things up. While we believe he is making an earnest effort to improve the workplace, we have an extremely hard time believing Cuban did not know about any of the allegations made against Ussery, especially considering there was an investigation of him conducted in 1998.