Mark Cuban admits Mavericks tanked after missing playoffs

Mark Cuban admits Mavericks tanked after missing playoffs

Nerlens Noel thought he was done with tanking.

Noel helped the Sixers turn the corner last season. They went 10-5 in January and for a split-second were able to daydream about the playoffs.

Then on Feb. 23, Noel was dealt to Dallas. Five weeks later, when the Trail Blazers beat the Suns on April 1, the Mavericks were eliminated from the playoffs.

And then they tanked.

"Once we were eliminated from the playoffs, we did everything possible to lose games," owner Mark Cuban said Wednesday on The Dan Patrick Show.

The Mavs actually won their next game before losing five in a row and ending their season with a victory over Memphis.

How exactly did they tank?

"You play all your young players," Cuban said.

That's it though. There wasn't a memo, as Patrick asked, that went out to everyone.

"No no," Cuban 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."

The Mavericks finished with the ninth-worst record (33-49) in the league and didn't move in Tuesday night's lottery. They were represented by former swingman and current executive Michael Finley. 

Cuban did not attend, and don't expect to see him at the lottery anytime soon.

"Yeah, (I went) one time, and I said I'd never do it again," he said. "Honestly, my thoughts were, this is the losers circle, and I never wanted to be back. We didn't hit the lottery again for 15 years."

Does the lottery system work?

"Not as well as it should," he said. "There aren't a whole lot of alternatives. ... Until you come up with a better solution, that's what we got."

Even on honeymoon, Jon Dorenbos performs wild magic trick with coin

Even on honeymoon, Jon Dorenbos performs wild magic trick with coin

Magic never stops.

Not even on Jon Dorenbos' honeymoon.

The Eagles' long snapper and magic enthusiast is enjoying picturesque Bora Bora with his wife Annalise.

Still, fresh off his wedding and surrounded by water way too blue, Dorenbos wasn't about to stop entertaining us as he posted this crazy coin trick on his Instagram account.

Bora Bora Magic - I love this move. @apollorobbins showed me this 15 years ago. #honeymoon

A post shared by Jon Dorenbos (@jondorenbos) on

Pretty darn cool — and, seriously, how does he do it?

And don't worry, Dorenbos is clearly having a great time on the honeymoon, not just blowing our minds with cool magic.

Amazing. #honeymoon #paradise

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How Jim Thome got his batting stance thanks to Charlie Manuel and 'The Natural'

How Jim Thome got his batting stance thanks to Charlie Manuel and 'The Natural'

If there's anyone in the world I could sit next to for hours and listen to talk about baseball it would be former Phillies manager and World Champion of baseball Charlie Manuel.

Charlie is still very involved in the Phillies organization to this day and we're lucky enough to have 45 minutes of his time talking ball with longtime Phillies scribe Jim Salisbury.

Those two know the Phillies just about as well as anybody, so there's plenty of meat on the bone to chew on. The duo chatted for a recent episode of Sully's "At The Yard" podcast.

The story that caught my ear the most was Charlie's telling of how Jim Thome came to have that somewhat-goofy stance before he hits. It was a timing mechanism that Manuel stumbled upon in the strangest of ways.

This was when both Charlie and Jim were working for a Cleveland Indians' affiliate in the minors. 

"We were playing in Scranton and it was a Phillies triple-A team at the time. I kept thinking of a timing mechanism of some kind, a waggle or something, what Thome could do with his bat where he wouldn't tense up, where it would help him to relax and everything."

"I came into our locker room early," Manuel said. "I didn't let my players turn the TV on after a certain time. I came through the clubhouse that day, they had 'The Natural' on. I told 'em to turn it off. Some of the players said, 'Hey, Charlie, we're watching The Natural can we watch the end of The Natural? I said, 'Not really, what's the rule?'

"I saw Robert Redford standing there pointing the bat with one hand, bringing it back. I looked over at Thome, I said, 'you can finish watching the movie. From now on that's going to be your load.' I took him down in the cage and worked with him. The game started and the Phillies had a left-handed pitcher named [Kyle] Abbott. He was pitching that day. I told Jimmy, 'From now on that's your stance.' He gets up there the first time up, Abbott throws him a breaking ball away and he hit a home run to left center... I mean a longways. He come up the next time he hit another one to right center. I think he had three hits that day."

"That's a true story," Manuel added.

It sounds to good to be true. So we did a little research and Thome has told the same tale on a television special out in Chicago last summer.

"We were in Scranton and I was a guy who held the bat still and would go from a standstill and swing," Thome explained. "(Charlie) was watching The Natural and he saw that (Hobbs) kind of had this little wiggle to his stance, and I remember the day. We went out the next day, we worked early and he said 'Do me a favor and try holding the bat out there (pointing towards the pitcher) and get a little rhythm with your swing.' And from that day I never looked back. The following day we played a doubleheader and I hit two home runs."

You can listen to the whole podcast with Jim Salisbury and Charlie Manuel right here.