NBA Looking Into Mark Cuban Incident; Mavs Suspend Team Exec
The NBA is now reviewing allegations of sexual assault made in '11 against Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban and the investigation that "led to a decision by prosecutors not to pursue the case," according to the AP. NBA Exec VP/Communications Mike Bass yesterday said that the league was "looking into the matter" (AP, 3/7). In Dallas, Eddie Sefko cites a source as saying that the Mavs were "convinced" that allegations against Cuban stemming from a Portland, Ore., incident were "unfounded." Meanwhile, the source added that the team had to "suspend another employee for an allegedly racist comment made online" in '16. The source said that Mavs Gaming GM Roger Caneda was suspended after a "racist tweet" was uncovered. The source said that the investigation involving former Mavs President & CEO Terdema Ussery and the "allegations brought forth by women" in a SI report are "still being investigated and that the matter could drag on into early summer." Sefko writes in what is an "increasingly guilty-until-proven-innocent society, the latest problems will not stem the tide of negative public opinion" toward the Mavs, which has been "reeling for more than two weeks" since the SI report came out (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/8). Sefko notes Caneda "did not work" for the Mavs in '16. But a source said that there was "enough evidence in the current environment to merit an investigation." The gaming arm of the Mavs is an "NBA-sanctioned video-game initiative geared at luring new fans to the NBA market" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/8).
DOING DUE DILIGENCE: ESPN's Michael Wilbon said the NBA's investigation "has to be ... serious," and the league is "going to have to have discussions with Mark Cuban that I'm sure the league never though it would be having with Mark Cuban about the Dallas Mavericks, about his and their viability in the NBA on a continued basis." Wilbon: "The NBA has to look at potential options if it gets information from said investigation that it does not like or is not palatable." Twenty-five years ago, this "particular story might have been handled differently." Wilbon: "But not today" ("PTI," ESPN, 3/7).