Adam Silver says tanking is ‘destructive,’ hopeful it will end with new NBA draft lottery
The NBA made changes regarding the rules of the draft, and its effects were immediately seen in the results of last month’s lottery.
The New York Knicks, who had the worst record in the league, wasn’t able to land the first overall pick. While the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns — projected to nab the second and third overall picks — fell down to fifth and sixth respectively.
League commissioner Adam Silver told Rache Nichols of ESPN, per Royce Young, that he is hopeful that with the Draft Lottery outcome, NBA teams will start to throw away the idea of tanking.
“Where I think it’s the greatest success is, hopefully it’ll stop fans in those markets from rooting for their teams to perform poorly,” Adam Silver said.
“Because that race to the bottom is just destructive, I think, for everyone. Corrosive for players and franchises, and I think, in some cases, even some executives who knew better felt they couldn’t withstand the pressure from the communities, from the media in some cases, saying, ‘Why are you operating at this level when you should either get much better or much worse?'”
Tanking has long been an issue in the NBA. When teams purposely lose games to get a better position in the NBA Draft, it has an impact on the intensity of the competition in the league.
However, now that there have been some changes with regards to the rules of the lottery, it is possible that some franchises will strongly consider building a more competitive team rather than sticking with mediocrity. After all, the league doesn’t really want to reward mediocrity.