“Do I feel good about the model? I feel good about the model,” Gores said. “Stan has a lot of support around him, whether it’s (general manager) Jeff Bower, and then he has support that probably (media) don’t even know about. He has a lot of support. So, I believe in the model. We’re seeing this through, absolutely.”
Gores said his goal for the team is to be competitive and return to the playoffs. “My consultants told me not to say we have any expectations, but truth is we do,” Gores said. “We have to be competitive. That’s what Stan wants. Of course, we want to get into the playoffs. If there’s a moment I sit up here and tell you we’re not, I think you should fire me.”
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban isn’t convinced the NBA’s new draft lottery system will discourage teams from tanking, which is why he abstained from the vote during last month’s board of governors meeting. The lottery reform passed by a 28-1-1 vote, with the Oklahoma City Thunder the lone team voting against it. The NBA needed 23 of 30 teams to pass the legislation. Cuban told ESPN that he proposed two alternative scenarios — one to the board of governors, another privately to commissioner Adam Silver — that would have more strongly discouraged tanking than the proposal that passed.
However, neither of Cuban’s proposals got any traction. Cuban pitched other members of the league’s board of governors on a system in which the draft is abolished, with teams getting a pool of money to sign rookies based on their records. “The team with the worst record gets the most money and the team with the best record gets the least money,” Cuban said. “It’s like a free agency. It makes it a lot harder to tank because you don’t know if you get the best players if you’re horrible all the time. “Nobody liked that at all, not a single person.”
Cuban’s other idea was to lock the team with the worst record into a draft slot — either third or fourth — to force teams to compete to avoid being at the bottom. That idea never got discussed in the board of directors meeting. “Now all of the sudden, if it’s close at the end, you’re going to see teams play as hard as they can because if they end up with the worst record, they don’t get the best pick,” Cuban said, explaining the logic of his idea.”You basically eliminate them from getting the best player. Everybody else would just be the way it is now. “Adam didn’t like that. That never got to the board of directors, but that one was my favorite. I brought up [the other proposal], but after that one got shot down, I didn’t bring up the other one. When I got no response on the one, I just dropped the other because it was obvious that what they had proposed was going to pass.”
“He’s obviously frustrated that his team isn’t being talked about as a potential champion this season and I think it’s just that. He’d love to win and he’s frustrated,” Silver said. “Having said that, Michael also happens to be the chairman of our Labor Relations Committee and nobody is suggesting we have the perfect system here or that over time we can’t make it better. And that’s something we’ll continue to look at.”