Respected international scout Tony Ronzone has been fired by the Dallas Mavericks, not long after the team began an investigation into sexual assault claims against him, as relayed by the Dallas News.
Sports Illustrated reported in July that a woman had accused Ronzone of forcing himself on her in a Las Vegas hotel room in July 2019. Per the report, the woman said Ronzone forcibly kissed and groped her, pinning her to the bed and placing her hand on his crotch. He supposedly invited her to the room to give her tickets to the Mavs’ summer league games.
The Mavericks vehemently denied the report in a statement, calling it a “one-sided, incomplete and sensational form of journalism, with its inaccuracies, mischaracterizations and omissions.” Ronzone’s attorney also said at the time that the woman’s “claims are meritless.”
Mavs owner Mark Cuban did not respond to an email from the Dallas News, and CEO Cynthia Marshall declined to comment.
“Before last summer, the reason Ronzone was best-known within the Mavericks organization and among fans was and remains significant: He was the primary scout whose intel and international basketball relationships kindled the franchise’s several-year effort to land Luka Doncic in the 2018 draft,” wrote Brad Townsend of the Dallas News.
The woman reportedly first notified the Mavericks of the alleged assault in an email to Cuban in September 2019. That led to an internal investigation overseen by Marshall. The angry rebuttal from Ronzone’s legal team was more than 800 words.