Philadelphia 76ers: How tanking is hurting the NBA

Before the start of the NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers basically told the entire league that they were throwing away this season in hopes of becoming better in the future.  At the time, it appeared to be acceptable because many Sixers fans felt that this is what was best for the team.

With all of the talent that is waiting in this summer’s draft, teams such as the Sixers do not want to miss out on an opportunity to select one or more of these players.  Players such as Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Joel Embiid are game changers, and can make a big difference to whichever team they go to.

In order for a team to be able to pick one of these players in the first round, they more than likely needed a poor season to secure a high lottery pick for the upcoming draft.  This appears to be the case for many teams in the league; especially the Eastern Conference as the losses are continuing to rise.

When a team loses a game, in the end it all means the same thing.  However, there is a difference when a team loses a game and when a team tries to lose a game.

Teams such as the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, etc. are all having bad seasons and are well below .500.  Despite all of their losses, these teams actually have tried to improve and want to win games.

They made several different transactions during the season and the offseason to help bolster their lineups.  Although it has not worked out, they at least made efforts in hopes of contending for a playoff spot.

With the Sixers as well as the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, and a few other teams, their losses are much different.  These teams knew the rough road ahead of them and accepted the fact that they were going to have miserable seasons.

Instead of trying to improve, they are getting rid of talented players in hopes of losing more games.

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For instance, when the Sixers traded away Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner, they got rid of two of their best players for basically nothing.  As a result, the Sixers have gone into a tailspin and have lost 17 consecutive games.

This has been a growing problem in the NBA as of late.  Teams appear to be satisfied in losing games in hopes of getting higher draft picks for the upcoming seasons.

The teams are not purposely losing games as the players are trying their best to improve.  However, some players are not cut out to be in the NBA and when a team is full of those players, the negative results will show.

This is embarrassing for the entire league as there are teams out there who are just not capable of winning on any given night.  There should be no team in the league who is a guaranteed win for their opponent, which is what the Sixers are experiencing now.

It is unfair to the fans who dedicate themselves to a particular team.  The Sixers’ paid attendance last season was fairly low at about 16,717 a night, and this year it has decreased tremendously to 13,690 a night.  These are hollow numbers as there are not nearly that many fans in the Wells Fargo Center.

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Not only do the fans have to suffer, but the players do as well.  There is no way that a player of Thaddeus Young’s caliber should have to be on this sinking ship. 

It is also hard for players to develop in the league when they are consistently getting blown out.  Michael Cater-Williams is having a great year, but he could probably do so much more if he was with a team with more talent.

In addition to tanking hurting the NBA, it also has not proven to be completely effective.  Many times, it takes many years for teams to significantly improve.

The Sixers nearly made the Eastern Conference Finals two seasons ago.  After what they have gone through this year, it may take another five years before they even come close to that opportunity again.

NBA owners are going to continue to do what they want.  If they feel that tank mode is the way to go to make their team better, then there is nothing that is stopping them.

Even though there is nothing holding a team back from doing this, the NBA should consider changing something.  If this continues to happen, more and more people will start to become fed up with the NBA and all of the bad teams that are a part of it.

It is not too late to make a change to how teams approach a season.  If they do not attempt to fix the problem soon, the NBA product will continue to degrade.

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  • mcgwiresbackne

    Sixers should have tried losing more years ago. Its about time.