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.
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Storyline: Draft Lottery
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.”
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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.”
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It’s an honor that might surprise critics who saw Anthony as a selfish player in New York — one more likely to tear a team apart than to keep it together. So why did Anthony’s peers choose him for the award? “He kept us together,” Lance Thomas said earlier this month. “It’s something that you wouldn’t know if you weren’t in there with us. It didn’t ever get [discussed by media and fans]. … But no matter what was going on, he was smiling, he was keeping all of that stuff outside of the locker room.”
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“You could never tell that something was going on. He was always calm, collected — every day. It was no big deal for him, all the off-court stuff,” Porzingis said. “And that’s one thing I can learn from him — ‘don’t give a s—‘ [about the drama]. He was just doing his thing and focusing on things he needs to focus on and not letting anything else come in his way.”
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