Since Mark Cuban purchased a majority stake of the Dallas Mavericks back in 2000, the team has grown accustomed to bring a winning franchise. During his tenure, the Mavs have never had an under .500 record, only sporting a 41-41 record in the 2012-13 season, which doubles as the only season since the turn of the centurt that they’ve missed the playoffs.
Now, with Dirk Nowtziki’s career winding down, they’re looking at not only missing the playoffs, but also finishing with a losing record for the first time since Cuban purchased the team. While that might be cause for concern for some owners, Cuban doesn’t seem all that torn up about it. In fact, he says he’s been having fun losing.
“As crazy as it sounds, given this has a chance to be my first losing season, it’s turning into a fun season,” Cuban told the Mavs.com beat writer Earl K. Sneed. “We basically have gone through a rebuild in one season. We play as hard, if not harder, as any team in the league now.”
Though “play as hard, if not harder” is a bit subjective, Cuban does have a point. The Mavs looked to retool this past summer by adding a few pieces, including signing Harrison Barnes to a max contract and trading for Andrew Bogut to clear the room for the Warriors to grab Kevin Durant. Barnes has proved his mettle, and while Bogut wasn’t a perfect fit, he was part of the package that landed the Mavs Nerlens Noel at the deadline, a younger piece that better fits the Barnes timeline.
There is still work to be done, and for just the second time during the Mark Cuban era the Mavericks are headed to the lottery, and a high draft pick will go a long way towards replenishes the coffers in Dallas and making sure their playoff drought doesn’t last long.