By JOHN RIOUX
If you’re not first, you’re last. That’s how many NBA owners and general managers feel.
In the NBA, the concept of “tanking,” or purposely-losing games, is a strategy that has become popular in recent years.
Those in the management circle of franchises know the worst place to be in the NBA is stuck in the middle. Teams that consistently make the playoffs, but lose in the first round, have very few methods to get better.
Larger market teams such as the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers do not deal with such problems, as their cities help them lure free agents to their teams.
Nevertheless, smaller markets do not possess the glitz and glamour lifestyle to help them lure top-tier talent.
The NBA has a procedure that essentially rewards teams for losing games. By losing the most games, you have the highest chance of obtaining the No. 1 draft pick.
This system begs teams to lose games, making the product on the court worse.
Owners care about fans for one reason and one reason only, money. They will put them through endless seasons of losing basketball as long as their profits continue to increase.
It is necessary for Commissioner Adam Silver to change the lottery system the draft is run on. Fans are being robbed by paying absurd ticket prices only to see a team not give its full effort.
If the NBA is going to continue preaching progression, it is time for them to fix the draft.