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NBA slaps Dallas Mavericks with huge fine for ‘undermining the integrity of the sport’

On Friday, the NBA hit the Dallas Mavericks with a fine for close to a million dollars after an investigation found the team was purposefully trying to lose their final games of the season.

NBA teams aiming to lose games at the end of a lost season is nothing new, however, the Dallas Mavericks attempt at doing so this month was one of the most poorly veiled in the history of tanking.

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The Dallas Mavericks entered the final week of the season fighting for one of the last spots in the NBA Play-In tournament. But the 2022-2023 season overall was a massive failure after reaching the conference finals last year. With obvious goals to fix the roster this summer, the team took bold steps to make sure they could do it with a potential first-round pick in June.

Dallas Mavericks record (2022): 38-44

dallas mavericks
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What made the situation interesting is the fact that the team’s top pick in 2023 was owed to the New York Knicks after a trade made in 2019. However, the selection was top 10 protected, meaning if the Dallas Mavericks could finish with one of the 10 worst records in the league they would get the pick back.

Well, they accomplished that mission but did a terrible job of hiding it as they randomly benched many of their top players, including Luka Doncic, for the final games of the season despite still being alive for a Play-In spot. Unsurprisingly, the decision led to an investigation by the league.

On Friday, the NBA revealed their findings from the inquiry and the news that they are fining the Dallas Maverick $750,000.

“The Mavericks violated the league’s player resting policy and demonstrated through actions and public statements the organization’s desire to lose the [April 7 game versus the Chicago Bulls] in order to improve the chances of keeping its first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. … ‘The Dallas Mavericks’ decision to restrict key players from fully participating in an elimination game last Friday against Chicago undermined the integrity of our sport,’ said Joe Dumars, NBA Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations.”

– NBA statement on Mavericks fine

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The fine is not the most for a team in NBA history but does not place the Dallas Mavericks among the highest in league history.

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