10 points on tanking

April, 27, 2012
4/27/12
12:17
PM ET
By Henry Abbott, Beckley Mason, and Royce Webb
ESPN.com
April 2012 was an epic month for tanking in the NBA. But now it's time for the playoffs, when losing is never beneficial.

As we shift our focus from tanking season to the postseason, let’s sum up.

Here are 10 points from HoopIdea on tanking:
  1. Tanking happens.
  2. Tanking stinks for fans.
  3. The current lottery system is the main reason teams tank.
  4. Rebuilding is necessary. Providing teams an incentive to lose is not necessary. These are different things.
  5. Tanking is rarely a path to success. In fact, tanking and the current lottery system lead directly to the perpetuation of bad management.
  6. Tanking ruins entire seasons for multiple teams that could be better right now.
  7. Tanking is forbidden by the league, which has acted to prevent it in the past. The potential penalty for tanking is "the dismissal and perpetual disqualification from further association with the league.”
  8. Tanking can be eliminated. To demonstrate and stimulate the kind of creativity that can end tanking, we published the following ideas: Ditch the draft | The five-year lottery | Hollinger | Rig the draft | A logical lottery | Jeff Van Gundy’s solution | Grade on a curve | MIT Sloan Solution
  9. We can imagine – and can have – a sport in which teams have good reason to play hard all the time.
  10. We can imagine – and can have – a sport in which teams have a level playing field and don’t have to resort to tanking.
Royce Webb is an NBA editor at ESPN.com.

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