“Our team isn’t good enough to win and we know it.”
That’s how Jeff Goodman‘s upcoming ESPN The Magazine article begins — a piece in which one unnamed NBA general manager admits that his team plans to tank this season in hopes of securing a top pick in next season’s loaded draft.
“Sometimes my job is to understand the value of losing,” the GM continued.
“I know that sounds crazy, but if you’re an NBA general manager like me, the last place you want to be is in the middle. There are only two outcomes there: Either make the playoffs and be first-round fodder for one of the premier teams or miss the playoffs and pick somewhere around 11th to 14th in the draft. Either way, the odds are that you stay in that middle range. It’s a recipe for disaster.”
The GM goes on to detail the process, from swapping established veterans for future picks to assuring the entire organization is on the same page through consultations with the head coach and ownership. He also stressed that tanking doesn’t involve players intentionally trying to lose games, but rather putting together a collection of players that is not talented enough to win them.
“You want [the team] to play with effort and lose organically,” the GM wrote. “You never tell the players not to try to win a game, but it’s obvious that you’re putting out a team that’s just not good enough to win.”
Click here to read the full article, which appear in the Nov. 11 issue of the magazine.
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