Tanking & the Meaning of Sports
The Dallas Mavericks were one of the final four teams left standing in the playoffs last year. They were riding high after upsetting the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals. So coming into this year, they had heightened expectations. They were a trendy pick to win the NBA Finals this year, and for good reason. However, it didn’t work out that way. They traded for Nets superstar Kyrie Irving, but the trade ended up being a disaster. As their season unraveled, reports came out that even though they had a legitimate chance to make the playoffs, they’d be resting their starters, otherwise known as tanking.
Tanking in sports refers to a strategy used by teams to deliberately lose games or perform poorly in order to obtain a higher draft pick or a better chance at signing a top free agent. This strategy is often used by teams that are rebuilding or looking to improve their chances of winning in the future. Needless to say, tanking is a controversial strategy, as it can lead to fans feeling demoralized and aggravated with their team and can also have negative effects on the integrity of the sport. In some cases The practice of tanking has been most prominently seen in the NBA, where teams have been accused of “tanking” in order to increase their odds of winning the NBA Draft Lottery and selecting a top prospect. It’s well known that many teams haven’t been putting their best foot forward all year, in the hopes of being able to draft generational prospect Victor Wembanyama.
This issue in the NBA has been rampant for a long time. The fans deserve more than this. The NBA brings in several billion dollars of revenue every single year. It’s expensive for fans to go to games and buy jerseys of their favorite players. The fans deserve to see their favorite players and teams give it their all every single time they step on the court.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has to fix this issue. The future and integrity of the NBA depends on it.