The NBA could be nearing closer to fixing its tanking problem. A recent proposal that was created by Boston Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren seems to be gaining momentum, and comments like the ones we heard from former Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo on Friday could help accelerate the process.
Zarren has proposed a system where all 30 NBA teams would pick from a specific draft slot once every 30 years. That would eliminate the draft lottery and, in theory, prevent teams from doing what Colangelo tried to do in the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season.
“I like (the proposal) because there’s no assurances (of getting a good pick) when you do tank,” Colangelo said, via USA Today Sports. “Admittedly, I will say, I tried to tank a couple years ago.
“And I didn’t ‘come out and say, ‘Coach (Dwane Casey), you’ve got to lose games.’ I never said that. I wanted to have him establish a winning tradition and a culture and all of that, but I wanted to do it in the framework of playing and developing young players, and with that comes losing. There’s just no way to avoid that, but I never once said, ‘You’ve got to lose this game.’”
The Raptors finished the season 23-43 and ended up picking eighth after losing a coin flip with the Golden State Warriors, who had the same record. Colangelo didn’t seem proud of his admission — it’s just simply part of today’s NBA.
“There’s no assurances (in the lottery),” he explained. “I do like the certainty of the (proposed) process. I think there are some merits to obviously take it to the next extent, except I wish we could start it sooner because there really is some ugly basketball being played.”
I’m all for it. Basketball is the only sport that can be so heavily impacted by one player, which is why we don’t see the tanking problem in other sports. As long as there’s a lottery, teams who know they have no playoff hopes are never going to put forth their best product on a nightly basis. Change is needed.