Tanking has long been a practice of NBA basketball bottom-feeders.
The process is quite simple: losing games increases lottery odds which makes the team (potentially) better in future years to come. It has been the final solution for some, the desperate cry of hope for others, and even the beacon of brilliance for a few.
Not everyone, though, sees tanking as an acceptable means of reconstruction. In fact, some want to push it out of the league for good. One of whom includes the NBA commissioner, Adam Silver.
In a letter of warning to league franchises (via Sam Amick of USA Today), Silver explains that any evidence of taking will be met with severe consequences.
"If we ever received evidence that players or coaches were attempting to lose or otherwise taking steps to cause any game to result otherwise than on its competitive merits, that conduct would be met with the swiftest and harshest response possible from the league office..."
For the commissioner, image is everything.
"The integrity of the competition on the playing court is the cornerstone of our league. 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."
Looks like the age of taking is officially over. The "Process" is a one-time process. No doubt, it should improve the quality of our games, as teams now have an incentive to try not to lose.
But for teams like the Hawks and Mavs, what does it mean for them?