How to Prevent “Tanking” in the NBA
It has to be fixed. It just isn’t right for the game. No one wants to talk about it, but everyone knows it’s there. What is it? Tanking in the NBA.
NBA teams are purposefully losing games so they can have better odds in the draft lottery. Teams have shaved down their rosters and true NBA talent makes up only about 25% of their team. The Philadelphia 76ers recently rolled out Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, Elliot Williams, Thaddeus Young and Henry Sims as their starting 5, not exactly household names. The same 76ers crew has yet to notch a win in its last 21 contests, only 6 away from the all-time worst 26 losses, which they could realistically achieve in a week. Most of the losing is taking place in the dreaded Eastern Conference of the league where the 3rd seeded Raptors (37-29), wouldn’t even be in the playoff picture in the absolute dominant Western Conference. For all of you that have the NBA league pass channels, we can all feel your pain when you have to tune into a game with the words “Jazz, Sixers, Magic, Bucks, Pelicans “and dare I say “Lakers” involved in them.
Zach Lowe of Grantland.com recently reported about a group of NBA executives planning to reveal the “NBA Wheel” to the board of governors. In this proposed plan, a team would have the number 1 overall pick in a pre-determined year immediately followed the next year by the last (30th) pick. They would then have 2 mid-rounder’s followed by two consecutive top 10 picks, essentially guaranteeing them a top 6 pick every 6 years. With this idea, it would certainly force teams to start winning. This would make teams go out and actually use some extra free agent money and maybe not be so quick to blow everything up. If everyone in the league is going into each season with an all-in mentality, imagine how the intensity and importance of each game correlate as well? Suddenly the mid-December “Cavs vs. Bobcats” games will have a playoff feel to it, not simply two teams trying to roll out the worst possible team in order to lose. Also, being the worst team would not guarantee you’re getting the number one pick. The 2011-2012 Bobcats were the least winning team of all time and they still missed out on future superstar Anthony Davis in the lottery that year, settling for Michael Kidd-Gilchrest.
Would something like this do anything but help the league?