Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said Thursday that it’s "very sad" that Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban has come under fire for an incident in 2011 in Portland.
Carlisle made it clear that he believes Cuban was dealt a low blow after a story this week detailed a sexual assault claim seven years ago that police ultimately dismissed as unfounded. The report surfaced in the wake of the franchise’s front-office scandal.
"Very sad," Carlisle said after practice. "And I view that situation as a baseless and journalistically unethical rehashing of a proven non-event. That’s what that is.
"Have you ever heard the term fake news? This is the most insidious form."
The Mavericks have been reeling for more than two weeks since a Sports Illustrated report detailed allegations of a long-running environment of sexual harassment in the front office, centered on former president and CEO Terdema Ussery.
Other incidents have turned up since, including the suspension of at least two employees and the termination of another for inappropriate behavior or comments.
Cuban issued a denial about the incident in Portland detailed by the Willamette Week, an alternative weekly newspaper and website. The paper revealed a police report that stated a woman claimed Cuban made improper contact with her while posing for pictures.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office determined there was insufficient evidence to press criminal charges against Cuban, concluding the "the allegation of the complainant is unfounded."
The NBA is reviewing the matter, but several eyewitnesses told police in 2011 that they noticed nothing out of the ordinary. A security worker from that club told The Oregonian on Wednesday night that he witnessed the incident, calling Cuban "gropey" that night.
The worker also told The Oregonian that Cuban was slurring words.
The Mavericks are conducting their investigation into every aspect of the front office and are not commenting on specific incidents until the investigation is over.
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