Mark Cuban Fined In Response To "Tanking" Comments

And that's just the women inside the team who knew what was going on. But those same colleagues say that Ussery routinely transgressed workplace boundaries.

Not only is tanking not the Mavericks' best option, it's no option at all, franchise icon Dirk Nowitzki says.

"Next week, the National Basketball Association will launch a confidential hotline available to all league and team employees to report any concerns arising in the workplace, including but not limited to sexual harassment, illegality, or other misconduct".

In a statement, Ussery denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he actually raised concerns of other employees who "had engaged in highly inappropriate" conduct. "Such behavior is completely unacceptable and we will closely monitor the independent investigation into this matter".

One woman interviewed by SI said that when she complained about Ussery to her superior, former vice president of marketing Paul Monroe, he threatened to fire her if she "didn't shut up and do [your] job", and to just take the abuse from Ussery because "he's the boss". A male former department head said there was 'built-in protection for a lot of men'.

Former Dallas Mavericks president and CEO Terdema Ussery is the latest public figure to face accusations of workplace misconduct as a widespread time of reckoning continues across multiple professional industries. And according to owner Mark Cuban, it's that way by design.

When contacted by SI about the story, Cuban apologized for the problem and replied by saying, "I'm embarrassed, to be honest with you, that it happened under my ownership, and it needs to be fixed. I was disgusted when I read the article".

Two women claimed Ussery, 59, harassed them for years, including the aforementioned incidents ranging from inappropriate remarks and requests for sex to touching women's calves and thighs during meetings.

"It's not a situation we condone", Cuban told SI.

This isn't the first time Cuban has been fined.

Cuban admitted he had made a mistake in not firing Earl K Sneed, the employee with a history of domestic violence.

Cuban was never accused of harassing any employees himself by anyone the SI reporters spoke with. I was like, 'Look, losing is our best option.'" He added, "Adam [Silver, NBA Commissioner] would hate to be hearing that.

"And how does a man like Mark Cuban, who repeatedly brags about how hands-on he is as an owner, who a year ago if you'll remember, got involved in the minutiae of counting the number of games team beat writers attended when deciding how to hand out credentials, say that he never knew any of the stories that it took a couple of reporters just a few months to collect?"

  • Jon Douglas