Time to open the checkbook.
The Dallas Mavericks were handed a massive fine on Friday after the NBA determined that they violated the league’s resting policy by sitting healthy players.
This isn’t the first time that Mark Cuban’s squad has been forced to pay up, but it’s the biggest fine in franchise history.
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Where does the infraction rank among the biggest in league history? Here’s a list of the largest fines ever in the NBA:
T-5. $500,000 – Mark Cuban, 2002 and 2020
I told you this wasn’t Cuban’s first rodeo. The Mavs owner was fined half a million dollars in 2002 and 2020 for publicly criticizing referees. At the time in 2002, it was the largest fine levied against a single individual in NBA history. He did turn the situation into a positive, though, by matching the $500,000 fine with an equal amount donated to charities.
Eighteen years later in March 2020, Cuban was fined the same amount for “public criticism and detrimental conduct regarding NBA officiating.” He called out referees at that time on Twitter and while speaking to reporters. Once again, he matched the fine with a donation.
T-5. $500,000 – New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets, 2006
The Knicks and Nuggets were given the same fine in 2006 after the two teams brawled following a hard foul at Madison Square Garden. In the melee, 10 players were ejected and many were later suspended. Penalties were heightened for this incident by Commissioner David Stern because it happened so soon after the famed “Malice at the Palace.”
T-5. $500,000 – Vladimir Radmonovic, 2007
The Los Angeles Lakers fined Radmonovic after lying about an injury. The 6-foot-10 forward initially said he slipped on ice and separated his shoulder during the All-Star break, but he later admitted that he fell while trying to snowboard for the first time. There was a clause in his contract that prevented him from partaking in risky activities.
T-5. $500,000 – Joe Dumars, 2010
While serving as president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons, Dumars was fined $500,000 for leaking multiple confidential league memos to now-ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski. The league conducted a sting operation over several months and later caught Dumars revealing the information.
T-5. $500,000 – Micky Arison, 2011
During the NBA lockout in 2011, Miami Heat owner Micky Arison expressed his frustrations with CBA negotiations in a series of tweets. Even though the posts were swiftly deleted, the internet never forgets – and Arison lost $500,000 as a result.
T-5. $500,000 – Mark Stevens, 2019
During the 2019 NBA Finals, Stevens – an investor in the Golden State Warriors – pushed Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry after he dove into the stands. The American billionaire was banned from all team events and activities for one year and fined $500,000.
4. $600,000 – Mark Cuban, 2018
There goes that man again. Cuban was fined $600,000 in 2018 when he said on a podcast that “losing is our best option.” He later admitted that the Mavericks had been tanking for more than a year. In this instance, losing worked out for Dallas. The team acquired star Luka Doncic on draft night just months after Cuban received this fine.
3. $750,000 – Dallas Mavericks, 2023
Tanking once again cost the Mavericks money this year. The team benched a number of healthy players over their final two games of the season, even though they still had a chance at making the play-in tournament. By losing those games, Dallas remained at No. 10 in the lottery order – which is important because their pick is top-10 protected and will go to the New York Knicks if it falls to No. 11.
2. $2.5 million – Donald Sterling, 2014
The former Los Angeles Clippers owner was fined $2.5 million and banned from the NBA for life in 2014 after an investigation regarding racist comments made over the phone to his ex-girlfriend. This was the maximum fine allowed under the league’s constitution at the time. Sterling later sold the Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, so he obviously had no trouble paying the league.
1. $3.5 million – Minnesota Timberwolves, 2000
The largest fine in league history was given to the Timberwolves after they made an under-the-table agreement with soon-to-be free agent Joe Smith. The contract was voided, the franchise eventually was stripped of four first-round picks and owner Glen Taylor was suspended for a year. Smith played the following season for the Detroit Pistons before returning to the Wolves in 2001.