Businessman/TV personality Mark Cuban attends the annual Billboard Music Awards held on May 21 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. File photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants his last-place team to keep losing.
Cuban recently told Julius Erving that he shared recently that message with the Mavericks. The billionaire owner made the comments on the House Call with Dr. J podcast.
"I'm probably not supposed to say this, but, like, I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night, and here we are, you know, we weren't competing for the playoffs. I was like, 'Look, losing is our best option,'" Cuban said.
"[NBA commissioner] Adam [Silver] would hate hearing that, but I at least sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans were going to be this summer, that we're not going to tank again. This was, like, a year-and-a-half tanking, and that was too brutal for me. But being transparent, I think that's the key to being kind of a players owner and having stability."
The Mavericks (18-40) sit in last place in the Southwest Division and have the second-worst record in the Western Conference. Dallas had a 33-49 record last season. The Mavericks haven't won a playoff game since winning the 2011 NBA Finals against LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
Dallas used the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to select Dennis Smith Jr. The point guard from N.C. State is averaging 14.8 points, 4.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game as one of the best rookies of the 2017 draft class.
Last year, Cuban said that his team also tried to lose once they knew they were out of the playoff picture.
"Once we were eliminated from the playoffs we did everything possible to lose games," he said on the Dan Patrick Show.
Cuban said playing young players is how NBA teams 'tank.'
The team with the worst record in the NBA has a 25 percent chance at having the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.