There is a lot of talk this year about NBA teams tanking to better position themselves for the upcoming draft. Chad Ford, an NBA Insider for ESPN, wrote a column titled, “Tank Rank: Utah Jazz out in ‘front.’” The Jazz have started the season 1-10, and I hope Ford’s insider status does not mean someone within Utah’s organization told him tanking is on the table.
Does anyone remember what happened to eight female badminton players in the 2012 Summer Olympics who decided to throw matches to get better seeding. They were all disqualified. Yeah, that’s right, those athletes practiced four years to get to the biggest stage in sports, and were booted for disgracing themselves, their country, and the Olympics. This is serious stuff, and any NBA team that throws games should switch with the Washington Generals (the team that always loses to the Harlem Globetrotters).
I could not access Chad Ford’s “Tank Rank” because it is an ESPN insider article, but I bet it is complete BS (you know, Baloney Sauce). Forget about what tanking does to your fan base, it goes against everything a competitor is trained to do. Competition is what binds all athletes together, whether you play for your country’s badminton team or your city’s NBA team. Competitors don’t tank, but if they do, stiff penalties should ensue.
If NBA tanking is true, then get rid of the perverse incentive. Make the NBA Draft a real lottery; every team should have the same chance of winning the number one pick. After a year, drafted players should become free agents, and teams will have to spend instead of tank.