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Thread: What exactly is tanking?

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    Default What exactly is tanking?

    I keep hearing about Philadelphia and Boston "tanking" and I just don't get what people mean. It is obvious both organizations have made the decision to build for the future, which in my opinion is certainly NOT tanking. Both teams are letting their good, young talent play a bunch and develop. Personally I would be more critical of Philadelphia and Boston if they kept playing guys like Turner and Crawford knowing they are not part of the future plans. If you are rebuilding like these franchises are, it would be an incredibly dumb thing to do to give playing time to veterans when their are guys in the D-League and other places you might be trying to evaluate.

    Now granted, if you go completely young I think you run the risk of a losing mentality permeating to the young guys. In essence though both Philadelphia and Boston know that getting rid of veterans and playing all this youth will result in a bunch of losses, but given the alternative this seems to me to be the right direction to go in. The media labels this tanking, I certainly don't. If they told players to intentionally miss shots, or limited the minutes of the best young players then yes, that would be tanking. I don't see that happening with the likes of Philadelphia and Boston.

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Tanking is building a roster in a way that forces a coach to give big minutes to Manny Harris or Alonzo Gee night in and night out.

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by TinManJoshua View Post
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    Tanking is building a roster in a way that forces a coach to give big minutes to Manny Harris or Alonzo Gee night in and night out.
    That sounds awfully specific
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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Clearing out vets to develop your young guys is one thing. Trading away good players to give minutes to D-Leaguers specifically - and only - to improve your lottery chances is tanking. Philly has clearly done this.

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlavaDave View Post
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    Clearing out vets to develop your young guys is one thing. Trading away good players to give minutes to D-Leaguers specifically - and only - to improve your lottery chances is tanking. Philly has clearly done this.
    I'd agree with this. If none of the guys on your losing roster will be there after the next draft and free agency period, you're probably tanking.

    I'd also add playing the poor players while better ones are benched for no real reason is probably tanking.
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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Playing Josh Smith 36 minutes per game.
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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    I think tanking is coaches coaching to lose and players playing to lose.

    And therefore I think tanking is a total misnomer

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think tanking is coaches coaching to lose and players playing to lose.

    And therefore I think tanking is a total misnomer
    It gets really awkward when a coaching is coaching to lose(Jim O'Brien) but the players are wanting to win.

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    I'll lob in my bi-yearly comment from the Desert Southwest on this one. I think tanking is a front office phenomenon. To bring coaches and players into the mix would be unhealthy for the organization. You want your coaches to coach, even if you hand them Alonzo Gee to play with. The real problem is tanking is such a roll of the dice, as bad as Philly is, they may not end up with a top-5 pick. That would be pitchfork-time in the City of Brotherly Love.

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think tanking is coaches coaching to lose and players playing to lose.

    And therefore I think tanking is a total misnomer
    Which is why I don't see tanking as a problem, as it is rare that this is actually the case.

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Awesome View Post
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    It gets really awkward when a coaching is coaching to lose(Jim O'Brien) but the players are wanting to win.
    You think he was doing it on purpose? That "on purpose" thing is pretty important in terms of tanking.
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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by TinManJoshua View Post
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    Tanking is building a roster in a way that forces a coach to give big minutes to Manny Harris or Alonzo Gee night in and night out.
    This.

    As far as the pistons go, I'd look at their winning percentage under cheeks and under Loyer, with the thought in mind that the pistons have to pick 8th or better or lose their pick this summer.

    Mo was a bad coach, but the players still played hard for him, jennings specifically. Loyer is pretty much the substitute teacher in the room.
    Last edited by Kstat; 03-24-2014 at 10:01 AM.

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Coaches and players have no incentive to lose and play poorly. Both have employment structures where performance is directly tied to future salary. So even if a coach was promised that he wouldn't be fired for tanking, chances are if he coaches some historically awful teams and any of the blame can be attriubuted to that coach, he'll never coach again at the NBA level. The closest coaches and players get to tanking is when you see players benched for dubious injuries. But I think those decisions also come from the front office, not the coach or the player.

    The front office, however, is directly responsible for tanking. There are two ways to keep your job as an executive: form a team that is progressing towards a championship, or bottom out intentionally and sell hope to your fanbase. GMs have a built-in incentive to tank in an effort to get a player like LBJ or Durant that will make them look competent. Philadelphia has been tanking since before the season even started. The Evan Turner trade was just the cherry on the crap sundae they'd been serving their fans this season. While Turner wasn't going to be in their long-term plans, he's clearly a servicable NBA 6th man or starter, and some team this summer would probably be willing to do a S&T for him for more than a 2nd rounder. But, they needed him off the team this year while taking no long-term salary, and that's a hard trade to make and break even.

    I think Boston is in a different place. They traded aging veterans for a ton of assets, and that trade made them worse this year. But they weren't going to be a good team anyways, and that trade could end up being a huge windfall for them. I don't think Boston was trading to be worse now; they were trading to be better later, and I think that's the difference. Philadelphia had good players in Holiday, Turner, MCW, and Young. They made a decision to be worse this year solely to get a high pick. I don't think that Holiday trade will pay dividends in the next 2 years, if ever.

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    The concept of tanking doesn't make sense at any point across any organization, at any level. There's absolutely no incentive for anyone involved. A GM, a coach, a player who purposely partakes in "tanking" strategies, not only are not going to be around for the rebuild... but they've just killed their reputation across the league, likely forcing themselves to accept a lower position within the league, or might even be *out* of the league --- either way, a huge pay cut. What non-idiot is going to willingly sign up for that? The only person/group left that "tanking" could benefit is the owner(s). But... there's a massive, inherent risk involved even doing that for *them*. First, you suffer almost immediate revenue loss from sheer poor product and sales. Second, you do all that to land some high draft picks --- which is a crap-shoot at best. Chicago didn't tank, and they landed Derrick Rose. Portland has a terrible season, drafts the savior, and Greg Oden proceeds to carry out a terrible career. What you're left with is about a 20-30% chance of rolling out a profiting product within the next few years, and a guarantee that you're going to roll out a poor product in the meanwhile, which will *likely* result in bad profits almost immediately and likely for awhile until it all comes together.

    The Colts are the perfect example. Why on earth would that entire organization tank, including Irsay? If they did indeed tank --- everyone single one of those guys involved are gone. Most of them demoted, taking lesser pay. Polian --- TV analyst. Caldwell, coordinator (and got lucky that Detroit is a bunch of morons). Coaches, gone. Players, signed way lower contracts elsewhere or are out of the league. About the only way you sell that to an entire organization is if you offer some incentive/agreement under the table to those involved for willingly tanking *their careers*, not that season. And you'd have to be an idiot or simply without options to accept such a deal. What if you do all that, and Luck tanks? Now you just gave up cash-cow Peyton, and you're set back probably a decade with a fraction of your usual profits over that span.

    That is a massive risk. Even Peyton for 2-3 more years would result in way higher profits than tanking and failing for a decade. It just doesn't make sense.

    Can you imagine that conversation?

    Irsay: "Bill, we're gonna lose on purpose for the rest of this year, clean house, draft a new savior, start a new era of Colts football."
    Polian: "Okay, what's in it for me, besides a wrecked career?"
    Irsay: "Nothing."
    Polian: "Sounds good, let's do it. I'll go tell all the coaches and players; I'm sure they'll all be happy to hear their careers are likely going to nose-dive. Shall we do update meetings every morning?"
    Last edited by Kid Minneapolis; 03-24-2014 at 11:54 AM.
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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Philly.

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Minneapolis View Post
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    The concept of tanking doesn't make sense at any point across any organization, at any level. There's absolutely no incentive for anyone involved. A GM, a coach, a player who purposely partakes in "tanking" strategies, not only are not going to be around for the rebuild... but they've just killed their reputation across the league, likely forcing themselves to accept a lower position within the league, or might even be *out* of the league --- either way, a huge pay cut. What non-idiot is going to willingly sign up for that? The only person/group left that "tanking" could benefit is the owner(s). But... there's a massive, inherent risk involved even doing that for *them*. First, you suffer almost immediate revenue loss from sheer poor product and sales. Second, you do all that to land some high draft picks --- which is a crap-shoot at best. Chicago didn't tank, and they landed Derrick Rose. Portland has a terrible season, drafts the savior, and Greg Oden proceeds to carry out a terrible career. What you're left with is about a 20-30% chance of rolling out a profiting product within the next few years, and a guarantee that you're going to roll out a poor product in the meanwhile, which will *likely* result in bad profits almost immediately and likely for awhile until it all comes together.

    The Colts are the perfect example. Why on earth would that entire organization tank, including Irsay? If they did indeed tank --- everyone single one of those guys involved are gone. Most of them demoted, taking lesser pay. Polian --- TV analyst. Caldwell, coordinator (and got lucky that Detroit is a bunch of morons). Coaches, gone. Players, signed way lower contracts elsewhere or are out of the league. About the only way you sell that to an entire organization is if you offer some incentive/agreement under the table to those involved for willingly tanking *their careers*, not that season. And you'd have to be an idiot or simply without options to accept such a deal. What if you do all that, and Luck tanks? Now you just gave up cash-cow Peyton, and you're set back probably a decade with a fraction of your usual profits over that span.

    That is a massive risk. Even Peyton for 2-3 more years would result in way higher profits than tanking and failing for a decade. It just doesn't make sense.

    Can you imagine that conversation?

    Irsay: "Bill, we're gonna lose on purpose for the rest of this year, clean house, draft a new savior, start a new era of Colts football."
    Polian: "Okay, what's in it for me, besides a wrecked career?"
    Irsay: "Nothing."
    Polian: "Sounds good, let's do it. I'll go tell all the coaches and players; I'm sure they'll all be happy to hear their careers are likely going to nose-dive. Shall we do update meetings every morning?"
    In the case of the Colts, you only had to have one person on board with tanking. All Irsay had to do was say, you have to play Painter over the clearly superior Orlovsky or he is fired. It amazes me that Painter is still in the league.

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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    But again, my point was --- Irsay was undertaking a massive risk making that directive.
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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    This thread comes up every year? "Define Tanking" "What teams are tanking?" "Why do teams tank?" "Is tanking a problem?"
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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Well, it's basically when the general manager gets inside of a Sherman and then lines the team up. The Vet's are too slow to get out of the way so they are toast, the young talented guys with long-term contracts also get splattered by the tracks because they are too busy getting followers on twitter and the fans get shot with the rounds. That just leave's the low paid d leaguers to eat up the tracks and Tank one for the team.

    Oh and the coach, he just shovels up the crap left over and tries to push the tank out of the way, but it's just too damn heavy.

  26. #20

    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Minneapolis View Post
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    The concept of tanking doesn't make sense at any point across any organization, at any level. There's absolutely no incentive for anyone involved. A GM, a coach, a player who purposely partakes in "tanking" strategies, not only are not going to be around for the rebuild... but they've just killed their reputation across the league, likely forcing themselves to accept a lower position within the league, or might even be *out* of the league --- either way, a huge pay cut. What non-idiot is going to willingly sign up for that? The only person/group left that "tanking" could benefit is the owner(s). But... there's a massive, inherent risk involved even doing that for *them*. First, you suffer almost immediate revenue loss from sheer poor product and sales. Second, you do all that to land some high draft picks --- which is a crap-shoot at best. Chicago didn't tank, and they landed Derrick Rose. Portland has a terrible season, drafts the savior, and Greg Oden proceeds to carry out a terrible career. What you're left with is about a 20-30% chance of rolling out a profiting product within the next few years, and a guarantee that you're going to roll out a poor product in the meanwhile, which will *likely* result in bad profits almost immediately and likely for awhile until it all comes together.

    The Colts are the perfect example. Why on earth would that entire organization tank, including Irsay? If they did indeed tank --- everyone single one of those guys involved are gone. Most of them demoted, taking lesser pay. Polian --- TV analyst. Caldwell, coordinator (and got lucky that Detroit is a bunch of morons). Coaches, gone. Players, signed way lower contracts elsewhere or are out of the league. About the only way you sell that to an entire organization is if you offer some incentive/agreement under the table to those involved for willingly tanking *their careers*, not that season. And you'd have to be an idiot or simply without options to accept such a deal. What if you do all that, and Luck tanks? Now you just gave up cash-cow Peyton, and you're set back probably a decade with a fraction of your usual profits over that span.

    That is a massive risk. Even Peyton for 2-3 more years would result in way higher profits than tanking and failing for a decade. It just doesn't make sense.

    Can you imagine that conversation?

    Irsay: "Bill, we're gonna lose on purpose for the rest of this year, clean house, draft a new savior, start a new era of Colts football."
    Polian: "Okay, what's in it for me, besides a wrecked career?"
    Irsay: "Nothing."
    Polian: "Sounds good, let's do it. I'll go tell all the coaches and players; I'm sure they'll all be happy to hear their careers are likely going to nose-dive. Shall we do update meetings every morning?"
    You can't compare football to basketball as it pertains to tanking and the draft. You suit up 52 players every game in the NFL vs. 12 in the NBA, and you have 22 starters vs. 5. Clearly snagging a franchise player in the draft has much more impact in the NBA, even when you factor in the "skill" positions being disproportionately more valuable to an NFL team.

    And there is PLENTY of upside for a GM of a mediocre team to tank. If you are a 40-42 win team, you will most likely stay a 40-42 win team if you draft in the late teens every year and don't have a big market to l ure free agents. Being a perennial fringe playoff team that receives a beating from the 1 seed or barely misses the playoffs is a sure-fire way for a GM to get fired in the NBA. Those sort of teams don't excite a fan base, don't drive jersey sales, don't produce massive revenue, and also don't compete for titles, which is the only other reason the owner has the team.

    By tanking, the GM gets to say "nothing I could do, I inherited this mess, but give me 3-5 years, and I'll turn it around." That in itself buys you as much time as you would get if you try to win now with the fringe playoff team. The difference is that if you try to win now, you're very unlikely to get a difference maker in the draft or in free agency to buy you more time. But if you are picking in the top 5 for 3 straight years, there's a decent chance you are going to draft an All-Star, and as long as those young guys are developing, the fans and owner will stay off your back, and you can potentially get 10+ years. Danny Ainge has made rebuilding to save his job into an art form.

    Just because it doesn't work due to incompetence doesn't mean it isn't a viable strategy.

  27. #21
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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eindar View Post
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    You can't compare football to basketball as it pertains to tanking and the draft. You suit up 52 players every game in the NFL vs. 12 in the NBA, and you have 22 starters vs. 5. Clearly snagging a franchise player in the draft has much more impact in the NBA, even when you factor in the "skill" positions being disproportionately more valuable to an NFL team.

    And there is PLENTY of upside for a GM of a mediocre team to tank. If you are a 40-42 win team, you will most likely stay a 40-42 win team if you draft in the late teens every year and don't have a big market to l ure free agents. Being a perennial fringe playoff team that receives a beating from the 1 seed or barely misses the playoffs is a sure-fire way for a GM to get fired in the NBA. Those sort of teams don't excite a fan base, don't drive jersey sales, don't produce massive revenue, and also don't compete for titles, which is the only other reason the owner has the team.

    By tanking, the GM gets to say "nothing I could do, I inherited this mess, but give me 3-5 years, and I'll turn it around." That in itself buys you as much time as you would get if you try to win now with the fringe playoff team. The difference is that if you try to win now, you're very unlikely to get a difference maker in the draft or in free agency to buy you more time. But if you are picking in the top 5 for 3 straight years, there's a decent chance you are going to draft an All-Star, and as long as those young guys are developing, the fans and owner will stay off your back, and you can potentially get 10+ years. Danny Ainge has made rebuilding to save his job into an art form.

    Just because it doesn't work due to incompetence doesn't mean it isn't a viable strategy.
    Huh uh, ain't buyin' it. You're right, you can't compare the two, not because of just sheer pool size --- but because of the one fact that throws your theory into chaos --- the lottery. The NFL doesn't have a lottery. Tanking in the NFL guarantees you will have a very high draft pick, even a #1. In the NFL, you can draft a franchise player easily in the top 5 due to the size of the talent pool. In the NBA, you can lose more games than anyone, put a terrible product on the floor, and get rewarded with the 4th pick. The team with the worst record rarely wins the #1 pick, and there is typically 1 franchise player in every draft, if you're lucky, so the gulf between a #1 and a #2 is humongous. Look at NO --- they stole the #1 from Charlotte, nabbed Anthony Davis, who in my opinion is a bonafide franchise player, and Charlotte who won a total of 7 games got themselves a large heaping helping of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. If there was a tank job employed there, it failed miserably, in terms of tanking just to land a franchise player. And this is all assuming the lottery is conducted honorably... a lottery in all practicality introduces a mechanism for corruption in which picks are manipulated, which introduces a whole other layer you have to get through as a franchise to actually secure a pick. Not that I personally believe this, but it also wouldn't surprise me... that's a whole other argument.

    I'm just curious, how would a GM sell that concept to his owner? "So, here's my plan. We're gonna clean house, lose on purpose this year for a 25% chance to land the #1 pick, assuming we lose more games than anyone else in the league. Then, we'll suck for 2-3 years as we grow and rebuild, but in year 4-5 we should be a playoff contender. Just stick with me here." Conversely, why would any owner worth his salt push such a plan on his organization, an organization designed to make him money? Where is the financial incentive to build-in financial loss into your business plan via 2-3 losing seasons for the chance (and not a good one) of reaping rewards 4-5-6 years down the road? Talk about throwing a hail mary. You sometimes take a financial loss initially when the prospects of a much larger return are high in the foreseeable future... but it needs to be with high confidence. Tanking with the hopes of hitting the lottery and drafting a franchise player who will still need 3-4 seasons to realize his full potential while you put a team round him is a pretty low confidence business strategy. You might hit a grand slam, but you're probably gonna go down swinging. You also are likely going to lose said franchise player before you can reap the BIG rewards. Miami is reaping from Cleveland's draft pick. LA reaped from Orlando's draft pick (so did Miami). If you want to make the BIG money in this league, you have to acquire talent, you have to orchestrate smart contracts, and you have to have coaching --- not tanking. Period. Not tanking. Miami and Indiana are the two east powers right now, they didn't tank. They did exactly what I said a team has to do. LA and Miami won rings doing exactly what I said.

    And finally... Your theory builds in all kinds of contingency's for the GM, and the GM isn't the one paying the bills. The owner doesn't give a **** about the GM's designs for personal "outs" and stall tactics and alibis to preserve his name and make a lot of money for as long as possible. You don't pay a guy 7 digits to do that, lol....
    Last edited by Kid Minneapolis; 03-25-2014 at 03:24 PM.
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    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Minneapolis View Post
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    Huh uh, ain't buyin' it. You're right, you can't compare the two, not because of just sheer pool size --- but because of the one fact that throws your theory into chaos --- the lottery. The NFL doesn't have a lottery. Tanking in the NFL guarantees you will have a very high draft pick, even a #1. In the NFL, you can draft a franchise player easily in the top 5 due to the size of the talent pool. In the NBA, you can lose more games than anyone, put a terrible product on the floor, and get rewarded with the 4th pick. The team with the worst record rarely wins the #1 pick, and there is typically 1 franchise player in every draft, if you're lucky, so the gulf between a #1 and a #2 is humongous. Look at NO --- they stole the #1 from Charlotte, nabbed Anthony Davis, who in my opinion is a bonafide franchise player, and Charlotte who won a total of 7 games got themselves a large heaping helping of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. If there was a tank job employed there, it failed miserably, in terms of tanking just to land a franchise player. And this is all assuming the lottery is conducted honorably... a lottery in all practicality introduces a mechanism for corruption in which picks are manipulated, which introduces a whole other layer you have to get through as a franchise to actually secure a pick. Not that I personally believe this, but it also wouldn't surprise me... that's a whole other argument.

    I'm just curious, how would a GM sell that concept to his owner? "So, here's my plan. We're gonna clean house, lose on purpose this year for a 25% chance to land the #1 pick, assuming we lose more games than anyone else in the league. Then, we'll suck for 2-3 years as we grow and rebuild, but in year 4-5 we should be a playoff contender. Just stick with me here." Conversely, why would any owner worth his salt push such a plan on his organization, an organization designed to make him money? Where is the financial incentive to build-in financial loss into your business plan via 2-3 losing seasons for the chance (and not a good one) of reaping rewards 4-5-6 years down the road? Talk about throwing a hail mary. You sometimes take a financial loss initially when the prospects of a much larger return are high in the foreseeable future... but it needs to be with high confidence. Tanking with the hopes of hitting the lottery and drafting a franchise player who will still need 3-4 seasons to realize his full potential while you put a team round him is a pretty low confidence business strategy. You might hit a grand slam, but you're probably gonna go down swinging. You also are likely going to lose said franchise player before you can reap the BIG rewards. Miami is reaping from Cleveland's draft pick. LA reaped from Orlando's draft pick (so did Miami). If you want to make the BIG money in this league, you have to acquire talent, you have to orchestrate smart contracts, and you have to have coaching --- not tanking. Period. Not tanking. Miami and Indiana are the two east powers right now, they didn't tank. They did exactly what I said a team has to do. LA and Miami won rings doing exactly what I said.

    And finally... Your theory builds in all kinds of contingency's for the GM, and the GM isn't the one paying the bills. The owner doesn't give a **** about the GM's designs for personal "outs" and stall tactics and alibis to preserve his name and make a lot of money for as long as possible. You don't pay a guy 7 digits to do that, lol....
    Are we arguing about whether tanking exists or whether it is effective? Tanking does exist, it does happen, and it can work. Is it the safest way to build a contender? No, but it is one way. You can say that teams are "smart" about drafting and making moves, but there's nothing "smart" about what Miami did. Three top-20 players decided they wanted to play together, and of their three teams, Miami was more appealing than Cleveland or Toronto. Was that smart, or was that drafting Dwanye Wade and being located by South Beach?

    As for LA, they made a great draft day trade for Kobe Bryant. The rest of it has been the allure of playing and living in LA combined with playing with guys that the Lakers can acquire. Shaq didn't go to LA because it was a better run franchise than Orlando. He went there because he didn't like Penny Hardaway, the Lakers had Kobe Bryant to help him, and it made it easier to pursue his rap/movie career. Likewise, Shaq didn't leave LA because Miami was shrewd, he left because he didn't want to play with Kobe, without Phil, and thus, the trade.

    Indiana is a different case. Indiana and San Antonio are the best argument for not tanking. But San Antonio accidentally tanked to get Tim Duncan, and got lucky with some of those picks. Not even San Antonio expected Tony Parker to have the kind of career he has had. Likewise, when Roy Hibbert was drafted, I'm pretty sure that the Pacers did envision Roy changing the entire offensive flow of teams because of verticality. Likely they were expecting a solid, backup big man. Likewise, Paul George and Lance Stephenson were swing for the fences moves. They could have easily ended up being a rotational wing and out of the league, respectively. You can call that skill to judge character and work ethic, building the right culture, but it's also largely luck.

    As for the NFL, it has built-in tanking, as long as you aren't gaming the system or have a franchise, HOF player. Manning or Brady will keep you at 10+ wins for most of their career, but most teams have a cycle of being good, then being bad. It's called Parity. Salary caps and variable strength of schedule are designed to make sure you aren't too good for too long. Some franchises buck that system by having a once in a generation player and/or coach, but for most teams, it's a cycle. So there's really no need to tank, an adjusted schedule combined with some free agents walking for more money to a bad team will make sure you aren't as good this year as last year. See: KC Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons.

  29. #23

    Default Re: What exactly is tanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think tanking is coaches coaching to lose and players playing to lose.

    And therefore I think tanking is a total misnomer
    Then you're attributing the "tanking" to particular individuals or roles within a team.

    So you'd agree that what the 76ers have done can be considered "tanking" by those in charge of player personnel (probably a mix of Sam Hinkie and the owners of the team)? Because I don't think you can argue that they put the best players on the floor that they could've.

    In that sense "tanking" is not a misnomer. I don't think anyone says tanking thinking that it means that Michael Carter Williams, Thad Young and the rest of them are actively trying to lose games. But if you consider the owners, team president, GM, etc as representative of the team, then "tanking" seems to fit better.

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