DALLAS (AP) - The Dallas Mavericks have hired outside counsel to investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery in a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile workplace environment for women.

Ussery was accused of making sexually suggestive remarks to several women. He spent 18 years with the team before going to the sports apparel company Under Armour in 2015. Ussery, who was investigated by the team over similar claims in 1998, denied the allegations in a statement to SI.

The report said team website reporter Earl Sneed was twice accused of domestic assault while working for the Mavericks, including a guilty plea in a case that was dismissed when he met the conditions of the agreement.

The team said Sneed had been fired, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told SI that he fired human resources director Buddy Pittman after learning details of the magazine's report. Pittman and Sneed declined to comment to SI.

Cuban said he was "embarrassed ... that it happened under my ownership, and it needs to be fixed." The NBA said the Mavericks had made the league aware of the allegations against Ussery and Sneed and "we will closely monitor the independent investigation into this matter."

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