Marshall said the organization increasingly came to question the accuser’s credibility after she changed her story multiple times about what allegedly occurred between her and Ronzone. And, Marshall said, there was the accuser’s rising asking price from the Mavericks, most recently on March 11, when at the accuser’s request Mavericks vice president of Human Resources Tarsha LaCour flew to Las Vegas. Marshall said the accuser had promised to give the Mavericks what she termed important information that she had been withholding.
The 22 teams participating in the season restart feature 89 international players from 34 countries and territories, including the record eight international 2020 NBA All-Stars: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece), Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks; Slovenia), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz; France), Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets; Serbia), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers; Lithuania)*, Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012) and Ben Simmons (76ers; Australia).
But SI found that the Mavericks were not able to obtain key pieces of evidence: Sarah told multiple people her account of the incident in its direct aftermath—including one person, in a phone call, minutes after she says it happened. These so-called contemporaneous accounts are considered critical and potentially weighty in cases with no eye witnesses. According to emails viewed by SI, Sarah’s lawyers offered attorneys working for the Mavericks access to sworn statements from those individuals, contingent on the team agreeing to a nondisclosure agreement—but the Mavericks lawyers did not respond. (A lawyer representing the Mavericks, Thomas Melsheimer from the firm Winston & Strawn, said in a letter to SI that Sarah and her attorneys “refused to provide those declarations to the Mavericks and to us unless certain conditions were agreed upon – conditions that went well beyond protecting the identity of the individuals who executed those affidavits or statements.”) Sarah says that she remains open to sharing the sworn declarations and other documents with an independent body, including the NBA—just not the Mavericks. “I have nothing to hide,” she says. “But I lost trust in [the Mavericks].”
Multiple lawyers unaffiliated with the Mavericks situation interviewed by SI were surprised that the team chose to investigate internally. “As a matter of best practices, it was clearly a lapse in judgment to let HR conduct the investigation of these allegations,” says Kim Susser, a New York victims’ rights lawyer who has served as an independent investigator for sexual harassment claims. “And it’s especially shocking given the team’s experience [in 2018], having paid considerably and suffered public scandal over similar allegations. … In addition to the underlying physiological effects of trauma on memory and linear thinking, who asks the question is another factor relevant to how credibility is assessed.” (Marshall defended the choice. In one of many exchanges with SI, she wrote: “The investigation was led by the Mavericks’ Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer who also led other investigations that resulted in terminations of Dallas Mavericks employees.”)
In a phone interview with SI last month, the former agent said, “I work with victims all the time,” referencing the eight years he spent specializing in human trafficking with Homeland Security. “I have no reason not to believe her.” He gave a sworn statement, after all, he said. His main concern, overall, though, was Sarah. “I tried to give her support, to guide her,” because he worried about the long-term effects this could have on her. Days later, Sarah confided in another friend by phone, recounting the incident. The friend, an executive in the sports industry, also signed a sworn declaration, which SI has reviewed, recounting his conversations with Sarah and the fact that “she felt like she was violated.” Requesting anonymity, the friend told SI, “It jumped out at me that this was a team supposedly cleaning things up. It wasn’t handled well, and I say that not as a sports executive but as someone who wants to see people held accountable.” In August, she also confided in a friend who was a senior executive at Walmart and he, too, signed a sworn declaration.
According to the Mavericks, Sarah made a “significant” and “big and life changing” request for money for her children’s college tuition and her basketball nonprofit. Sarah adamantly denies this. “What we talked about was how this incident really messed up my life,” she says. Money came up when she explained the financial hit she took when she sent her son last-minute to boarding school last fall, something she felt she needed to do because of the emotional trauma she says she suffered. “My children have a college fund,” she added. Both the Mavericks and Sarah recall discussing the critical sworn declarations and the contemporaneous reports. Absent a signed NDA shielding the identities, Sarah declined to disclose them. She says her trust in the Mavericks is too eroded at this point to share the statements with the team.

Facundo Campazzo on radar for Minnesota, Dallas

Facundo Campazzo has been set on leaving for the NBA and the Argentinian guard has been on the radar of multiple teams including Minnesota and Dallas. More interest coming from the former, according to Carlos Sanchez Blas. In case he agrees for an NBA move, Real Madrid would have to be paid six million dollars per the contract’s buy-out clause in order for Campazzo to complete the deal.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 35 more rumors
The 7-3 center was not allowed to play in the scrimmage against Indiana because he missed a mandatory coronavirus test on Saturday, which was a scheduled off day for the team. The league stipulates that when a player misses a test, he must be retested and cannot participate in team activities the next day. “He broke one of the protocols yesterday, he didn’t get tested – just forgot to get tested,” Carlisle said before the Mavericks’ 118-111 loss to the Pacers, their second of three scrimmages leading up to Friday’s restart. “When that happens, for safety reasons, he’s unable to join the team the following day. He’s getting retested today (Sunday). I believe he’ll be able to rejoin us tomorrow (Monday).”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Along with a newly renovated and expanded facility, the Arlington Life Shelter has a new computer lab courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks Foundation. The homeless shelter, which opened in 1987, completed a $5 million construction project in June taking the facility to 12,000 square-feet. The new facility was created to help accommodate families at the shelter while adding additional commodities such as a play area for children and the new computer lab.
The NBA in March became the first major U.S. sports league to suspend its season due to coronavirus concerns. It is creating a “bubble” campus for 22 teams in Florida. The plan depends on frequent coronavirus testing and mass quarantine in one location. The players are “adapting well” and “getting along great,” according to Cuban, who said he could only speak to the Mavericks’ situation. He said players are wearing masks and following the health protocols.
The NBA has the “advantage” over the NFL, which is getting ready to start training camps for its 2020 regular season, said Cuban. Under the restart’s modified protocol, NBA teams can bring 15 to 17 players to Orlando. NFL teams have over 50 players in addition to larger staffs. The NFL doesn’t have plans to hold games in a bubble like the NBA. Instead, games will be played at each team’s stadium. “We have one location, we’re able to keep everything under control,” said Cuban.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on Monday told Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to “have some balls for once” after the Republican criticized him – but not by name, at first – over his support for players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Cruz’s retort? His own taunt about testicular fortitude. “Speaking of balls, tell us what you think about China?” the senator said to Cuban, referring to how Cuban and other NBA figures have declined to criticize Beijing for, among other things, its crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. “I’ll wait.”
Cruz, mocking Cuban as a “tough guy,” asked the owner if he would say “Free Hong Kong.” And if he would allow his players to put that phrase on their jerseys. And if he would condemn China’s “concentration camps w/1 million Uyhgurs,” a Muslim minority group. Cuban fired back. “I can say Black Lives Matter,” he wrote, side-stepping Cruz’s specific questions. “I can say there is systemic racism in this country. I can say there is a Pandemic that you have done little to end. I can say I care about this country first and last.”
How the Mavericks made it from March 11 to the bubble relatively whole is a triumph in itself. The backstory is crazy. The steps were complex and painstaking. Clearly expensive, too, although the man footing the bill insists he hasn’t so much as peeked at the still-climbing tab. “I honestly don’t know,” owner Mark Cuban said. “I have no idea. I told them to do everything the right way, with the guys’ mental and physical health ahead of everything. “I’m truly afraid to look at the Mavs financials, so I haven’t. I know it sounds crazy, but it is true.”
As an example, Carlisle cited the process of entering the facility. He described a device into which each person was required to step. In the device was a quarter-inch of water that cleansed shoes. “Then you’d step on some towels, dry them off, and then you’d go to a station where you have another set of shoes from inside, change into those,” he said. “Get your temperature taken. You fill out a questionnaire. You wash your hands and then you get into your workout.”