Maui Sports

To tank, or not to tank

March 4, 2009, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated March 4, 10:51 AM
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In an effort to show us how knowledgeable they are about the inner workings of the NBA, some cynical media pundits will fill your heads about how this is the start of the tanking season.

That’s when the weaker pro teams allegedly begin losing in an effort to enhance their lottery positions.

Call me naïve, if you will, but I don’t buy into all this tanking conspiracy talk.  Although this may be true in some rare cases, I don’t think it happens nearly as frequently as many commentators and columnists would have you believe.

For starters, finishing with the league’s worst record does not necessarily guarantee – as it does in other sports – that you will end up with the first overall pick in the draft.

Too many high picks have flopped and too many lower picks have flourished for anyone to think that drafting is an exact science.  Just ask the Charlotte Hornets about Adam Morrison.

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There’s also the coaching factor.  Lose too many games and you are destined for termination and another coach will inherit that high draft pick.  So what motivation can there be to oversee a team purposely lays down at season’s end?

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Finally, no marginal player worth his salt will pack it in, because he knows that other teams are watching.  Even if your team stinks, a player wants to improve his standing just in case he’s looking for work next season.

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