Has Tanking Gone Too Far?


If one of ESPN’s stat geeks crunched some numbers, tanking would probably be the most overused word in basketball this season. It’s been dragged through the mud, time and time again, when it’s the only legitimate practice that the NBA provides for mediocre teams to rise to the top. I mean, signing free agents sure isn’t going to work, just ask Detroit how that’s going for them. Plus, it’s hilarious that ESPN and other media markets seem to think that Sixers fans care about their team tanking — frankly, they don’t. The Sixers have been mediocre for years and after years, this team finally has a direction — it’s a miracle. Granted, it would be nice if there was another avenue to the top than stripping your roster cleaner than a cheap hooker and starving it with a roster full of players who won’t see another NBA game once the final buzzer sounds this season.

Drew Cohen, a lawyer and the founder of NBArrassing, which if you couldn’t tell by my introduction, is a group that is totally against tanking. Let’s be clear, Cohen is a Sixers fan — he doesn’t fault the Sixers for tanking, but it’s gone too far this season — and most of us will agree.

We’re in the midst of one of the most pathetic moments in American sports history — an all out scramble by NBA teams to lose as many games as they can. In the NBA draft lottery, the more losses these bottom-rung teams have, the higher their probability of receiving a top pick. So if your team isn’t making a run to win it all, chances are they’re wanting to lose right now. It’s called “tanking,” where teams do whatever it takes — bench stars, half-ass it, whatever — to run up the losses in an effort to get the top pick. As Mark Cuban said, this “creates a problem because they all have to play each other.” It’s ugly.
NBA “tanking” has never been as bad as it is right now. Incentives are flipped. Fans don’t know whether to root for or against their own team. And the result is a shell of a season for fans (and players) — a miserable display that’s nothing sort of an embarrassment.
That’s why I’m joining with other NBA fans everywhere to put a stop to this backwards system. Join me and sign the petition to NBA Commission Adam Silver to reform this system. The campaign just launched at www.NBArrassing.com. Sign the petition now and share it with your friends and family.
Put it simply, I don’t want to stomach another year of watching NBA teams in a mad dash for faille. It’s ruining the game, and the fans deserve better.
A friend, Zach Bennett, of Hickory-High.com, chatted with Cohen and plucked his brain about this anti-tanking campaign. You can find that information here.
While Philadelphia is still praying for a gift of Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker for this season, don’t we all wish there was another solution to this madness? Maybe something that didn’t involve selling our souls to the “devil” for the season. The website includes some other proposed NBA Draft Lottery reformations, besides the terrible NBA Draft Wheel.
As a Sixers fan, if you are tired of the tanking and wish there was another way for teams to get to the top, make sure you go sign that petition. NBArrassing.com is a grassroots campaign, it is by the fans and for the fans. There is only a limited amount of time before the draft, so make sure you get over there and sign the petition if you believe in this cause.

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