Dallas -- While the Mavs are on the west coast getting set for the remainder of the season, team owner Mark Cuban can't think about basketball. He's in crisis mode.
And his players are in shock.
"It was heartbreaking," Dirk Nowitzki said of the scandalous Sports Illustrated report. "I'm glad it's all coming out. I was disgusted when I read the article."
Cuban bringing in a crisis counselor when he met with Mavs employees Tuesday.
Sports illustrated's bombshell investigation rocking the organization. Accusations of mysogynistic behavior by former team President Terdema Ussery at the core of what victims called a toxic work environment.
Cuban has hired a pair of investigators, Evan Krutoy, a New Yorker who is the former deputy bureau cheif of the sex crimes unit in the Manhattan DA's office. The other is Anne Milgrim the the former Attorney General from New Jersy.They will lead an independent review digging into how the Mavs office deteriorated into what the report called a "real life animal house."
Cuban has already reversed field in his response to the story. After initially saying the report's finding were "all new" to him, he revealed Wednesday he was solely responsible for Mavs.com writer Earl K. Sneed staying on the payroll after a pair of domestic violence incidents, one that involved a fellow Mavericks employee; both detailed in the report.
Cuban told ESPN, " I didn't want to just fire him, because he would go out there and get hired again and do it somewhere else."
But now the Mavs owner calls it a "horrible mistake," apparently one of many.
Cuban says he's determined to make amends, though. A source in the league office told WFAA Sports the NBA will give Cuban that chance. He's been allowed to take the lead in setting up the independent investigation, but the league office will keep close tabs and have access to all facets of it.
It's too early to speculate on punishment from the league, but Cuban could face a multi-million dollar fine, a suspension, and possible forfeiture of draft picks.
Cuban called it an embarrassment, now his crisis response must be genuine and effective to repair a franchise in tatters, on and off the court.