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Report: NBA commissioner Adam Silver to monitor teams, crack down hard on tanking

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has gone on a mission to ensure teams won’t tank anymore after the recent findings of nine teams (almost a third of the NBA) is vying for a lottery pick for the upcoming draft.

Silver had sent a memo last week to each team, stating the league is going to “monitor closely the play of all teams during the remainder of the season” to ensure there is no tanking taking place.

Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports shared details of the contents of this memo, one which came soon after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $600,000 for his comments during a podcast appearance in Julius Irving’s House Call with Dr. J, where he told the NBA legend that his team’s best chances were to tank the rest of the season.

“The integrity of the competition on the playing court is the cornerstone of our league,” Silver wrote. “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.”

Five days after the fine took place, ESPN released a detailed story showing how teams can tank in “passive and active” ways, pointing out blatant acts by the Mavs, though the league office didn’t find anything so conclusive as to penalize the team for it.

“We have no basis at this time to conclude that the Mavericks team is giving anything less than its best effort on the court, and Mark has assured us that this is not the case,” Silver concluded in the memo. “But even a suggestion that such conduct could be occurring is obviously damaging to our game, as it creates a perception of impropriety. It is also extraordinarily unfair to the players and coaches who are, in fact, competing at their highest possible level every night. You are therefore advised to avoid such statements, and to pass along this admonition to all other key personnel in your organizations. We will continue to monitor closely the play of all teams during the remainder of the season.”