The 2016-17 season was not a good season for the Dallas Mavericks, as they were eliminated from postseason contention on April 1. It certainly isn't a laughing matter though.
For the second time in five seasons, the team failed to make the playoffs. In fact, the Mavericks haven't even advanced past the first round of the playoffs since they won the NBA championship back in the 2010-11 season.
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks, admitted on The Dan Patrick Show that once the team had realized that they were not going to be a part of this year's postseason proceedings, they did everything they could to lose games.
Cuban said: "Once we were eliminated from the playoffs, we did everything possible to lose games.
He continued, via Bleacher Report: "There are so many teams that became four years away from four years away because guys just learned how to lose. They stopped caring about any individual game and just got used to it, and you don't want guys developing those bad habits.
"We have so many young guys on this team, we want the games to mean something. Not to be, 'OK, who are we going to pull in the fourth quarter so we can lose this game?' That's not how teams develop good habits."
Cuban made sure that although they were putting young guys out there, it didn't mean they were losing on purpose, as he said: "Once a guy walks on the court, they're going to play their heart out. Particularly the young guys because they have something to prove."
Why were they looking to lose games after being eliminated from the playoffs? It all has to do with the draft lottery system. Finishing the season 33-49 gave the Mavericks 6.1% odds of landing a top-three pick through the lottery.
They were unable to cash in on these odds though, as Dallas will now pick ninth overall in next month's draft, and Cuban has said although he doesn't really like the lottery system, it works well for now.
Cuban said: "It works well enough, I guess. It obviously creates some misincentives toward the end of the season for teams that aren't going to make the playoffs. Until you come up with a better solution, that's what we've got."
Until a better draft solution is found, you can expect several more teams to act the way the Mavericks did once they are eliminated from playoff contention.