Dirk Nowitzki has been playing for the Dallas Mavericks for two decades now. He’s been the star of the team since back in 1998 when the Mavericks selected him with the No. 9 pick overall in the NBA Draft—and he’s one of the main reasons the Mavericks were able to win an NBA title in 2011. He’s also likely formed a lot of close relationships with those who work and have worked for the Mavericks over the last 20 years.
With that last part in mind, Nowitzki was likely just as shocked as the rest of us when Sports Illustrated released an explosive report about the awful workplace culture that has apparently been established within the Mavericks franchise since the late 1990s. For those who somehow missed the report, it detailed a range of sexual misconduct allegations involving a former Mavericks team president as well as domestic violence incidents involving a now-former Mavericks.com reporter that were completely mismanaged on the part of those at the very top of the organization. Many have questioned how Mark Cuban could have allowed his team to get to this point, and while Cuban has, for the most part, denied knowing that things got as bad as they did, he’s catching a lot of heat for the role he played in the whole thing.
On Wednesday, Nowitzki was asked to speak about the SI report ahead of the Mavericks’ game against the Lakers on Friday night. He called the allegations made in the report "truly, truly disgusting" and he sounded like he was still trying to process everything he read in it.
"It’s tough," Nowitzki said. "It’s very disappointing. It’s heartbreaking. I’m glad it’s all coming out. I was disgusted when I read the article, obviously, as everybody was. I was shocked about some of the stuff."
Nowitzki also went on to say that he hopes Cuban will step up and make things right within the organization.
"So really, really disappointed that our franchise, that my franchise, that stuff like that was going on," Nowitzki said. "It's very sad and disappointing. But I think [Mavericks owner Mark Cuban] is trying to step up and lead this franchise to the right direction, and that is hiring investigators, finding out all the little details that we have to know as a franchise what really was going on. I think Mark is going to step up here."
Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle also spoke about the SI report. He said he’s looking forward to the investigation Cuban has promised into the allegations made in it.
"First of all, I'm grateful we live in a place in time where people have the courage to speak up about things like this," Carlisle said. "I also have a 13-year-old daughter, and I want her to know that it's both brave and safe to speak out, and that's very important to me, and it should be important to everybody. What I can tell you is there is going to be a thorough investigation into this from an outside group led by two people at the top of their profession."
You can read the full SI report for yourself here.