Sportress of Blogitude

Adam Silver: NBA still has ‘some work to do’ to address tanking

Tanking is alive and well in the NBA. Despite the league putting some effort into not incentivizing losing in bulk to improve teams’ chances in the lottery, NBA commissioner Adam Silver not surprisingly admits the league still has “some work to do” on that front.

“I recognize that the incentives are not aligned right now, that there’s a huge incentive to increase your chances in the Draft Lottery, especially under the old system,” Silver said late last week, via ASAP Sports Transcripts. “As I said, we’re switching the system for next year. We’ll see how much of an impact that has, but my sense is we’re still going to have some work to do.”

While conceding tanking presents “an incredibly difficult issue,” Silver pointed out that the league has instituted some policies in the way of lottery reform that will go into effect for the 2019 NBA Draft.

“We recognize that our goal was to put the best competition on the floor, and it’s balanced against legitimate rebuilding of some teams,” Silver said. “But I know we’re not there yet, and I certainly wasn’t satisfied.

“There can only be so much cajoling out of the league office. It’s one of those things that the last place I want to go as the commissioner of the league office is to start dictating minutes and which particular players should be playing at what points in the game.”

With so many teams clearly tanking this season, Silver admitted the league “had conversations with several teams about what the product was that they were putting on the floor, and I’ll leave it at that.”

However, Silver stressed that no team “was, so-called, punished for tanking.”

What merits a revisiting of Silver’s comments is how a report surfaced this week indicating an unidentified NBA owner of a lottery-bound team allegedly was “really berating” his coach for beating a good team down the stretch. Hardly a good look for the league.

Suffice to say, Silver is absolutely correct that the NBA has “some work to do” on the tanking front.