Mark Cuban: Mavericks won’t tank until they’re eliminated

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Mark Cuban admitted the Mavericks tanked last season.

Will Dallas – an NBA-worst 2-10 – tank again this season?

Cuban, via Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:

“But not until we were eliminated,” Cuban reminded Tuesday night before his Mavericks, then 1-10, faced the Wizards in Washington D.C. “And until we’re eliminated, we ain’t tanking here, either.

“I still think we can turn this around,” he said. “We’ve been in 1-9 stretches during various parts of various seasons in the past, so it’s not like we haven’t been here before. It’s just that you never want to start the season like that.”

The Mavericks have enough talent to play better than they have, but probably not enough to seriously compete for the playoffs in a loaded Western Conference. Still, there are culture-defining benefits to trying – and even a (low) chance of succeeding.

In the likely event the Mavericks are eliminated from the playoff race, bet on them tanking. Cuban doesn’t outright say that they will, but it’s implied and quite common in that situation. The last month or so of Dallas games could be a wasteland.

The NBA appears concerned about season-long or even multi-season tanking, but this is the type of tanking Adam Silver – who disliked Cuban’s comments last year – should try to curb.