Source: Mavericks fire exec in wake of allegation

Dallas Mavericks director of player personnel Tony Ronzone has been fired after the organization learned new information pertaining to a sexual assault allegation made public last summer, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon on Monday.

Sports Illustrated reported in July that a woman said Ronzone had forced himself on her in his Las Vegas hotel room during the NBA’s annual summer league in July 2019. According to the report, the woman said Ronzone forcibly kissed her, groped her, pinned her on a bed and placed her hand on his crotch after he had invited her to his hotel to give her summer league tickets.

Mark Baute, Ronzone’s attorney, told Sports Illustrated via email last summer that the woman’s “claims are meritless.”

The woman first notified the Mavericks of the alleged assault in an email to team owner Mark Cuban in September 2019, leading to an internal investigation overseen by CEO Cynthia Marshall, who was hired by Cuban to change the culture of the organization after a 2018 Sports Illustrated report detailed widespread inappropriate sexual behavior and misogyny in the franchise’s business operations.

Marshall told Sports Illustrated last summer that Ronzone at the time remained in his role with the team because “there was no evidence presented of sexual assault.”

The Mavericks called the Sports Illustrated report a “one-sided, incomplete and sensational form of journalism, with its inaccuracies, mischaracterizations and omissions” in a statement shortly after it was published last summer.

The team also said the formal investigation into the allegation was closed “pending further credible evidence emerging and the zero-tolerance policy remains.”

The Dallas Morning News first reported that Ronzone had been fired.

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