The NBA has slapped the Dallas Mavericks with a $750,000 fine for “conduct detrimental to the league” after the team sat its stars in an elimination game last week.
The Mavericks’ hopes of making a play-in game were very much alive when they played the Chicago Bulls on April 7.
But star guard Luka Doncic played only 13 minutes in the game, which the Bulls won 115-112. Kyrie Irving did not play at all, nor did Maxi Kleber, Christian Wood or Josh Green, CNN reported.
The Mavericks stood to benefit in the long haul by losing the game and missing the play-in.
According to KXAS-TV, a win could have kept the team from getting a top-10 pick in the upcoming NBA draft.
“The Mavericks violated the league’s player resting policy and demonstrated through actions and public statements the organization’s desire to lose the game in order to improve the chances of keeping its first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft,” the league said in a Friday afternoon statement.
The NBA said it found no evidence that the Mavericks players who did play against the Bulls “were not playing to win.”
“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 and head of basketball operations.
Dumars added, “The Mavericks’ actions failed our fans and our league.”
“Head coach Jason Kidd said the decision to rest players was made by his ‘bosses’ — owner Mark Cuban and general manager Nico Harrison,” CNN reported.
This is the largest fine ever levied against the Mavericks and the third-largest in NBA history, according to KXAS.
Cuban was fined $600,000 in 2018 after he commented that his team’s best option was losing.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.