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Friday, April 27, 2012
NBA Today: Jeff Van Gundy on tanking, playoffs

By Henry Abbott

Jeff Van Gundy joins me on NBA Today. Before getting into some playoff predictions, he had strong words about HoopIdea and tanking. Key points:

On the strategy of losing to get better:
We would never accept a player not trying hard. But we accept teams not trying hard. We accept owners telling GMs to tell coaches not to win. We're fine with that. But can you imagine if a coach ever instructed a player "hey, I don't want you to try hard tonight so we lose."

We invent this term called "tanking" when it's really cheating the fans, altering competition and I'm not OK with that. ... It's altering the outcome. It really is.

It undermines the very idea of competition.

On how the Bobcats became the worst team ever:
Listen. Rich Cho in his sleep could pick better players than they had this year. But that's not the plan. Michael Jordan's plan is to be bad. To get as bad as possible. To try to hit a home run in the lottery and get good at the cheapest price. A lot of NBA owners agree with him.

And they'll totally disagree with what the Houston Rockets try to do, which is to be as good as they can possibly be every year while making sound, prudent decisions. They're ridiculed for that, like that is some horrible thing to actually do, which is try. ... That's how sick it is now.