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Rick Carlisle addresses Mavericks’ sexual harassment scandal

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle on Wednesday addressed the organization’s sexual harassment scandal brought to light in a troubling Sports Illustrated piece published this week.

Carlisle noted  that “there’s going to be a thorough investigation into this from an outside group led by two people at the top of their profession,” former New Jersey attorney general Anne Milgram and Evan Krutoy, a 20-year veteran of the New York City District Attorney’s office.

“Their findings are going to go directly to Mark Cuban and Adam Silver, and the Mavericks will abide by whatever recommendations are made,” Carlisle said, via SportsDay. “I can tell you that when it comes to anything involving the Mavericks, Mark Cuban is a strong believer in extreme ownership, extreme accountability and he is highly motivated to get this resolved in an expeditious and thorough fashion, and no steps will be skipped in this.”

Carlisle was asked if the scandal was an embarrassment for the team.

“Things happen for a reason,” Carlisle said. “Any problem or crisis presents opportunity, and this is an opportunity for us to get something fixed.”

Carlisle also noted how Mark Cuban was fined $600,000 by the NBA for recent comments in which the Mavs owner revealed he told players tanking was the best option.

Concerning both issues, Carlisle addressed how the situation could serve as a distraction for the team.

“The game is in two days. So after today I don’t expect to see you guys around much, to tell you the truth,” Carlisle said. “This is an important situation that needs to addressed the right way and Mark and the Mavericks organization will do that.”

Meanwhile, Dirk Nowitzki said he was “disgusted” by the revelations detailed in the SI report. Mark Cuban placed the blame squarely on himself for the scandal, saying, among other things, that he made a “horrible mistake” by not firing writer Earl K. Sneed sooner.

Despite Carlisle’s protestations, it’s difficult to believe the sexual harassment scandal — along with Cuban’s comments and fine — won’t be both an embarrassment and a distraction for an already-scuffling Mavericks team.