NBA commissioner Silver talks tanking, trade requests

NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke to reporters and made it clear he's no fan of trade demands.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is no fan of tanking. Not for the teams, not for the fans, not for the good of the league.

“I personally don’t think it’s a winning strategy over the long term to engage in multiple years of rebuilding,’’ Silver told reporters during his All-Star Weekend address. “There’s a mindset that, if you’re going to be bad, you might as well be really bad. I believe personally that’s corrosive for those organizations.”

For the uninformed, “corrosive” means bad. Or more specifically, “to cause corrosion” to the tanking organizations.

Anyway, the league implemented some new rules for this year’s lottery — as the teams with the three worst records now have an EQUAL shot of winning the lottery. But tanking talk lives on, with the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls way ahead of the rest of the field in the battle for No. 30.

“I’m pretty sure we acknowledged at the time we didn’t think we’d solve the problem,’’ Silver said.

Now, it seems, additional changes could be on the way.

The commissioner was also asked about the situation involving New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, who became the latest star to request a trade well before the expiration of his contract (joining the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard).

“I don’t like trade demands, and I wish they didn’t come,” Silver said. “I wish all those matters were handled behind closed doors. … I think we could do a better job as a league in avoiding those situations that get to the point where players are demanding to be traded or, in a worst-case scenario, saying they won’t honor their contract.”

While Davis indicated that all of the 29 other teams are on his imaginary “wish list,” some believe his trade request is centered on a desire to play in a bigger market alongside (and perhaps in front of) bigger stars.

But Silver said smaller markets still have a large place in the NBA.

“If you look at the success of the so-called big markets in the last five years, they’ve been at an all-time low in terms of their success on the floor,” Silver said. “We didn’t have the traditional big market teams even playing in the playoffs.”

1 Comment on "NBA commissioner Silver talks tanking, trade requests"

  1. Ah, the file art of hypocrisy!

    In all our pro sports, the drafting rules encourage tanking. Just opposite of what, say, the EPL has – where the bottom two teams are relegated to the lower league (G-League in NBA). While I am not advocating such a drastic step, a lottery with better non-play-off teams having slightly better odds might work for now.

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