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The Suffolk Journal

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Why tanking in the NBA is cowardly and idiotic

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The 2014 NBA Draft will be one for the ages.

The potential depth in the 2014 NBA draft class is the best pool of prospects since the 2003 draft that was headlined with LeBron James. Superior potential means one thing that will happen this season, organizations tanking their seasons to rebuild their future.

Whenever a team is below average and believes the next stud in college basketball can be “the chosen one,” those mediocre squads tend to try and throw their season to get a better pick in the draft. It has happened in the past and worked, but that is not always the case.

The draft is determined by chance, and the only way to help your franchise’s chance of getting a top pick is to lose. It is unintelligent to torture your fans with a bad season and degrade your current players to try and get one man that can turn the tide. There are no guarantees in the draft, only chance. If an organization needs to depend on chance over professional strategy, they are not a worthy franchise to grace the floor of the NBA.

Tanking as players is one thing, but if an organization prepares a lineup that obviously has no fire-power and keeps the same lackluster team throughout a season without seeking trade or changes with plenty of cap space, it is still tanking. Players aren’t going out on the court to try and lose the game, tanking starts in the front office, when they put a team together that can’t compete.

Teams like the Washington Wizards and the then New Orleans Hornets purposely sat players to lose at the end of last season, which of course can’t be proven as a true fact, but the teams were fairly obvious in their actions.

The fact teams are willing to sink so low and lose games that fans pay money to attend is really quite disgusting and a slap to the face of every fan. The problem with this season is that the draft is so deep, tanking teams will win out in the draft if they can earn a top-10 selection. Not hitting rock bottom means they can still get a potential starter.

Teams need to wake up and look at the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, they drafted Lebron James, but where is he now?

The NBA has changed, you can’t keep a player for his entire career. The odds are rare. Even now, the Cavaliers are in jeopardy of losing another first overall pick in point guard Kyrie Irving if he decides he wants to play somewhere else.

Money can only talk so much, otherwise you’d see more players want to be on the Charlotte Bobcats and the Toronto Raptors. The players hold the cards in the NBA, and although it may not be a good thing, it is the truth.

When veterans can create a “big three” by joining forces, spotlight rookies can be overshadowed. Just like the Cavaliers with James, if an organization can’t give your star the tools, there is no guarantee he’ll trust that organization and re-sign.

NBA teams need to treat the fans better, every year, every game. First priority should be to sell tickets by getting the best players you can to make a contending team. The NBA is the only league with a salary cap where there are teams that go into the season that already know they do not have a shot at contending. If a team needs to become better by tanking and losing games, then they’ll be labeled as such; they are losers.

The NBA created the lottery to make every team try and compete, although there have been cases where teams have got the short end of the stick due to the lottery. This year is a prime example of why it is needed. Fans should heckle and shun any team that is obviously trying to tank, and treat them like the cowardly organization they are.

If a team can’t get the first pick in the draft, tough luck. Spend money, sign role players, hire a legitimate coach, and create a respectable team that players would be willing to play their hearts out to win.

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Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.
Why tanking in the NBA is cowardly and idiotic