Smoke Signals

When Tanking is Better than Winning

Jeff Grundy, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






  Recently Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $600,000 when on a podcast he said, “Losing is our best option.” He confirmed to the world that his plan was to tank the rest of the season.

  But this is not the first time a NBA team admitted to tanking nor will it be the last. Teams that haven’t done well enough to make it into the playoffs have no reason to win. In fact, winning when they cannot make the playoffs makes them worse off over time  because a lack of good drafts means their team can never progress and obtain the best rookies.

 Teams that aren’t great and but not terrible are trapped in the middle and, in order to progress, need to lose more games, tanking their record to try to get a good spot in the draft lottery for next year. Sounds easy right?

  But there are casualties. Veterans who only have a few years of playing left don’t want to waste their time on these teams. Rookies who have extremely high hopes for their future career don’t want the humiliation that comes with throwing games and there are also players who don’t deserve to be forced to not play at the level they can.

   By throwing games, the teams not only make themselves look bad, but they make their players look bad too. Historically teams that threw games go down as laughingstocks.  

  This is best exemplified by a game in 2006 between the tanking Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies. Both teams didn’t want to win: to win meant a later draft pick so they just missed shots on purpose. The Timberwolves ended with one of the 10 worst records in the league because they couldn’t have tried harder to lose.

  This is the opposite of what a professional sport should be. While it’s the smartest decision for the team to tank, the team needs to realize the effects of this practice are wide-spreading and toxic. There isn’t a solution to this, Teams need to keep their fans in mind, who pay to see their players win.  In order to keep the integrity of the game alive, tanking for earlier draft picks needs to stop.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • When Tanking is Better than Winning

    Sports

    West Takes the Win from Mira Costa

  • When Tanking is Better than Winning

    Sports

    West Girls’ Softball Won CIF Finals

  • When Tanking is Better than Winning

    Sports

    West Volleyball Wins Against Saxons

  • When Tanking is Better than Winning

    Sports

    A Clean Slate for the Dodgers

  • When Tanking is Better than Winning

    Sports

    Shohei Ohtani’s Rise to Stardom

  • When Tanking is Better than Winning

    Sports

    The Villanova Wildcats: NCAA Basketball Champions

  • When Tanking is Better than Winning

    News

    #MeToo Movement Hits Sports Industry

  • When Tanking is Better than Winning

    Sports

    The Game That Made History

  • When Tanking is Better than Winning

    Sports

    Massive Moves in NFL Free Agency

  • When Tanking is Better than Winning

    Sports

    U.S. Wins Gold In Paralympics

The School Newspaper of West High School
When Tanking is Better than Winning