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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Enes Kanter Rejects the Tanking Mentality

Tanking is wrong because it cheats the fans out of their hard earned money that they pay to attend or watch games and it violates the integrity of competition. It is also worth noting that tanking does not work.

It is most unfortunate that tanking has become a widely accepted practice in the NBA. I have no interest in watching or analyzing the performances of teams that are actively trying to lose games. If I were interested in that kind of farce then I would watch pro wrestling or some other form of pre-scripted "entertainment" that may involve impressive physical feats but does not involve actual competition.

I very much appreciate the comments Enes Kanter recently made about tanking. His New York Knicks are one of at least 10 NBA teams that are tanking to some extent and he is not at all happy about it: "Let me tell you something, man: They can develop guys in the G League. This is not the time to develop young guys, or whatever, because we're trying to win games here. This team is paying us a lot of money, everybody, and all the fans are paying a lot money to watch the games and they're paying a lot of money for tickets, so they're not just coming here watching, 'Oh, this guy's getting better. This guy's developing.' No, we're trying to win games here, man. I think that's how our mindset should be. And if they want to develop somebody, they can send him to the G League and we can see some development. But I think right now, we're trying to win games. We're not trying to develop nobody."

Teams that are not trying to win should not charge full price for tickets, nor should they accept a full share of the league's broadcast and merchandising revenues; if you are intentionally putting a subpar product in the marketplace, you cannot justify charging the public full price for it. I don't know if league-mandated refunds/rebates would cure the tanking epidemic (and such refunds/rebates may not even be permissible under the Collective Bargaining Agreement), but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver needs to do something, because the product that his league is putting on the court on a nightly basis in many cities is embarrassing. The top end teams are exciting and fun to watch but many of the bottom end teams are brutal.

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posted by David Friedman @ 7:02 AM