NBA Commissioner sends a stern warning to teams about tanking
Penalties are going to be harsh and swift if a team is caught tanking.
What's the story?
Sam Amick of USA Today is reporting on a letter that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent to all NBA teams last week. The letter stated that the league is going to monitor teams closely the remainder of the season to make sure they are not tanking.
In case you didn't know...
Last week Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $600,000 by the NBA for his comments on tanking. Cuban told Dr. J on his podcast that "losing is our best option" and that clearly didn't sit well with Silver.
It was the largest fine in Cuban's career as Mavericks owner beating the $500k fine Cuban was assessed in 2002 for complaining about officiating.
The heart of the matter
Amick provided details of the letter that was sent out in his article. Take a look at what Silver had to say below:
"The integrity of the competition on the playing court is the cornerstone of our league. It is our pact with the fans and with each other, the fundamental reason we exist as a preeminent sporting organization, the very product that we sell. With everything else changing around us, it is the one thing in our league that can never change. We must do everything in our power to protect the actual and perceived integrity of the game."
Silver provided a strategy for struggling teams to rebuild their team within the rules of the league but made it clear that tanking has no place in the game. If a team is found tanking they will be met with the "swiftest and harshest" consequences.
As of Wednesday morning, the bottom five teams in the league are the Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, and Phoenix Suns. Those teams will definitely be under the microscope.
There are nine games on the NBA schedule for Wednesday night including a doubleheader on ESPN. The Golden State Warriors (47-14) will take on the Washington Wizards (36-25) in the early game, and the Houston Rockets (47-13) take on the Los Angeles Clippers (32-27) in the late game.
Tanking is definitely a serious problem and I'm glad that Adam Silver is keeping a close eye on it. I'm not sure what the answer is, but maybe it could be something as drastic as a playoff for the non-playoff teams where you have a best-of-3 series tournament and the order of finish determines the order of the draft.