There have been constant grumblings from media and fans about the way that certain NBA teams have adopted tanking to get high picks as a main method of team rebuilding. Its pretty much unfair for fans to purchase tickets to see a team that they know is going to tank, even if the franchise believes that losing now in order to acquire high picks and complete later (a la the Celtics in Brad Stevens’ early years) is the best route.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told members of his roster that losing is the teams best option for the remainder of the 2017-18 NBA season.
ESPN.com relayed Cubans comments to Julius Erving on the House Call With Dr J podcast, where he discussed the organization’s need to tank.
Mark Cuban on Mavericks possibly tanking: “Losing is our best option. …Adam [Silver] would hate hearing that” https://t.co/hk1phmoyt2
“I’m probably not supposed to say this, but, like, I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night, and here we are, you know, we weren’t competing for the playoffs. I was like, ‘Look, losing is our best option. [Commissioner] Adam [Silver] would hate hearing that, but I at least sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans were going to be this summer, that we’re not going to tank again. This was, like, a year-and-a-half tanking, and that was too brutal for me. But being transparent, I think that’s the key to being kind of a players owner and having stability.”
Silver would hate hearing that and he might discipline Cuban for his brutal candidness, but Silver knows that the league is as unbalanced as it’s ever been as far as elite talent distribution goes. He just doesn’t care because the NBA is raking in the doe and having all of the league’s hot shot stars concentrated on a few teams doesn’t hurt the brand’s money flow.
Right now, there might be three teams capable of winning an NBA championship. The Mavericks are transitioning out of a comfortable Dirk Nowitzki Era, where the Mavs were perennial contenders and even beat LeBron, Wade and Bosh in the Finals in 2011.
Got a request? Leave a comment here. http://ask.fm/gearmast3r Every play from Dirk Nowitzki in the 2011 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat in his stellar MVP performance.
The German shooting prodigy who helped push the NBAs transition to seven-footers with three-point prowess is on his last leg and the Mavericks are searching for a new, younger talent to assume the role of franchise player.
Teams such as Dallas who arent destinations that elite free agents are known to frequent, feel that their only option to acquire top tier talent is to lose and get a superstar in the draft. Currently, the Mavs have the third-worst record in the league and the future’s looking bleak unless an infusion of talent blesses the squad. This is the second year in a row Cuban has admitted to tanking.
Once we were eliminated from the #playoffs we did everything possible to lose games.”-@mcuban on the @dallasmavs tanking https://t.co/YRGnncqboE
Unless the NBA comes up with a way to make the league more competitive and stop these Super Teams from forming, more and more teams will join the Mavs in tanking. Its now sadly considered common and a credible way of stockpiling talent for a championship run.
The Houston Astros 2017 World Series title has lent some credence to this approach. The Astros were horrible for years and stockpiled studs because they couldnt compete for free agents with major market squads like the Yankees, Boston and the LA Dodgers. Eventually it paid off, but the journey is brutal for the fans and doesnt help attendance numbers or the overall integrity of the professional sports league.