How do you ELIMINATE TANKING?

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by BallDon'tLie, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    Maybe it's just more prevalent this year due to the abbreviated season, but it sure seems like TANKING is in full effect this spring for a lot of NBA teams. As much as I want the Pistons to secure more ping pong balls, I respect our team for putting out an honest effort to win (at least not making it look as blatent as other teams).

    My question to the forum is: What rules/policy changes can be put in place to curtail the act of tanking?
  2. Nemo

    Nemo The Great Predictor Forum Donor

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    Looking at sitting vs playing players......
    I think that teams in the playoffs should be allowed to rest players for the playoff run.
    Teams within the top 10 lottery pick could be penalized for sitting starters.

    Looking at player performance......
    I think it would be hard to monitor whether a player is trying or not.

    Looking at game by game outcomes.........
    Losing by more than 30 points during the last quarter of the season seems blatant,
    when you're a lottery bound team.
  3. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    I don't think tanking has been any worse this year. We traded potential draft position for unit cohesion and growth. My oddball suggestion is that teams need to maintain some level of fan interest in the form of attendance and nielsen ratings. If you generate 7 wins all season long and nobody cares about you this year, you hurt the cable company that carries your game, the concession workers who have nobody to serve, the sports bars who don't have clientelle because your product sucks. The NBA already requires teams to be economically viable vis a vis city infrastructure and potential fan base. So if your fan interest goes down below acceptable levels, you lose ping pong balls.
    ok maybe thats not such a great idea.
  4. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    It seems like a problem that requires a pretty complex solution in order to preserve a sense of parity and eliminate tanking at the same time. I don't think that it's as simple as adjusting the number of Ping Pong balls that a team gets. Bottom feeding teams NEED the opportunity for high draft picks to improve their situation while at the same time having an incentive to put the best possible product on the floor for an entire season.

    In the interest of brainstorming, here's some (good?/bad?) ideas that are open for discussion:

    1. Since tanking is typically done in the 2nd half of the season, reward non-playoff teams based on their winning percentage AFTER a determined date (the trade deadline for instance).
    Of the 14 non-playoff teams:
    - The 4 that improve or maintain their percentage in relation to the 1st 2/3 of the season get an extra 2nd round draft pick.
    - The middle 6 teams simply maintain their one 2nd round pick.
    - The 4 that see the biggest decrease in winning percentage would lose their 2nd rounder.

    The league would need to figure out a way to impliment this plan due to picks that have been included in previous trades, etc.


    2. Since tanking is often done at the directive of ownership, management or possibly a secure coach, reward or penalize these guys according to performance. Maybe create some kind of system where the league withholds a pile of TV money in escrow. Those executives/owners/coaches who field a competitive team get paid more, those who don't miss out on money.


    3. Use some sort of 2 or 3-tier system of flattening out the lottery odds where the 6 teams with the worst records get an equal allotment of ping pong balls and the 8 remaining teams get slightly worse odds.
  5. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    I don't really think that Players tank.
    Players are independent contractors and their earnings potential is based on their individual performance.

    I think that tanking is something that most often, comes from somwhere in the front office.
  6. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    There are too many variables to ever know exactly but I'd have to estimate that fan interest doesn't change all that much if a given team is in 8th place in the conference or 12th place.
  7. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I think the lottery system in general certainly helps cut down on tanking. If you look at the last 21 years of the lottery, only twice (2003-Cleveland/LeBron, 2004-Orlando-DHoward) has the worst team actually got the first pick. That's 2 out of 21. Tanking improves your chances, but it guarantees nothing.

    I doubt that coaches or players tank. BDL is correct that directives come from the front office. I'm sure Joe Dumars told Lawrence Frank to start Daye and play Macklin last night. After that, Frank did everything he could to win. Austin Daye didn't intentionally go 1-for-11 last night to improve the Pistons' draft position. He just sucks right now.
  8. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    So true!
  9. Nemo

    Nemo The Great Predictor Forum Donor

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    Yea........I agree. I simply wanted to say that player performance can be affected by management decisions.
  10. Mogilny

    Mogilny All-Star Forum Donor

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    He would have gone 10-for-11 if he was trying to tank.
  11. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    Austin Daye might have hit a few more shots if he wasn't forced to do all of those pre-game pushups. That's stealth tanking...you take a guy like Daye and convince him that he needs to do all these pushups and encourage him to shoot the ball whenever he touches it.

    Truehoop has a lot of articles about tanking recently.

    Grantland vs. tanking - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN

  12. The Panda

    The Panda All-Star Forum Donor

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    The Warriors are just a downright embarressment.

    There is also the chance that you get a franchise player. Imagine the money that players like Kobe, Howard, Lebron make their team. The draft is where they come from, almost impossible to get in free agency.

    My view is that winning should be reward in all cases, except for the single worst team. If there is only one spot open to tanking, imagine what would have happened this season. The Bobcats are clear and away favourites, they just plain suck. If every other lottery spot was determined by how many wins you made between being mathematically excluded from the playoffs, and the end of the regular season, I could see that working.

    It means that poor teams have a longer stretch by which to prove themselves as valuable, whereas teams right in playoff contention have a reduced chance at winning. The final stretch of the season becomes more competitive - fan attendence goes up, and it keeps the teams honest.

    This Draft system that we have (lottery and all) is untenable. Say the Bobcats get Davis. If he really is the gamechanger we think, they have two years to build a serious team around him, or he walks. If the Bobcats don't get Davis, then the system has failed anyway, because it isn't helping to make the league more competitive.
  13. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    The Bobcats are going to get a great player irregardless if they get the #1.
  14. The Panda

    The Panda All-Star Forum Donor

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    Irregardless, Davis is far and away the best fit for that team from the top 3 in the draft. He is better than Drummond/Robinson. And they need high energy in the paint for some rebounds, more than they need someone like MKG.
    linwood likes this.
  15. max

    max All-Star

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    Fairest way would be to not reward losing and give all 30 teams the same chance. If you are too afraid of losing fans in the bad teams then perhaps some caps can be set on the number of top 3 picks you can get in a set number of years. Or more simply no consecutive top 3 picks allowed. For example since the Cavs got #1 last year then they would not be able to draft any higher than #4 this year.
  16. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Radical idea that I haven't thought through. I apologize if this has already been mentioned or is a widely discussed alternative.

    Instead of a draft with picks, have an auction. You'd have to throw out the rookie pay scale. Doesn't this solution work best in fantasy leagues? Serious question b/c I never got into those.

    Each team can bid on as many players in the "draft" or as few as they would like. Make it a hard cap league and each team would have to bid with their available resources.

    I guess you'd have to go player by player with some sort of ranking system so that if a team loses a bid, they know that they can allocate their remaining resources to the next guy, and so on.

    So, in next year's draft, Davis would be the first player to be posted on Ebay. All of the teams would submit their bid and then the NBA would announce who won the auction and how much the contract was for. The bids would have to be standardized (2 years with team option in year 3 for example). Whichever team has the most cap space could ensure that they'd get the top player if they were willing to spend a ton on him. If a team needed depth, they could forgo the expensive players and spend on 4 early 2nd rounders for example.

    I'm not a big fan of the mandated pay scale anyways. Seems like collusion between the vets and the league to me.
  17. Mogilny

    Mogilny All-Star Forum Donor

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    I'm not as fond of the idea of helping the bad teams as alot of others and I have yet to see someone make a solid case for the vitality of competitive balance in a league. The only reason I'm pro keeping the draft is because I find it entertaining. Assuming some kind of reward system for the bottom-dwellers should be kept I think the most efficient way would be to give all teams not making the playoffs the same amount of lottery tickets. It's far from a perfect solution since the teams making the playoffs get penalized but it will remove tanking since no team is going to sacrifice a playoff run and a 15th-20th pick for 1/14th shot at the first pick.
  18. The Panda

    The Panda All-Star Forum Donor

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    The Free Agent draft approach has been floated before.

    There are two reasons why it won't work
    -Firstly, the NBA currently uses it's 'soft cap' and 'hard cap' approach, with the addition of Luxury tax once you break $x million dollars. The reality is that most teams, even the Lakers of the world, are still well under the hard cap. Secondly, there are few owners out there with, let us say, slightly tighter purse strings. The draft keeps the big spenders away from the best players for a few years and helps retain fan interest in the game. You would see a similar instance as the EPL where teams with internal wage caps and far smaller transfer budgets find it very difficult to compete with the hegemonic presence of teams such as Manchester United, or teams with wealthy backers willing to spend, such as Manchester City and Sheikh Mansour, or Chelsea and Roman Abromavich. It creates a talent vacuum, and is endlessly frustrating for the competitiveness of the league.
    -Secondly, most people agree that the draft goes some way to correcting the talent imbalances in the league. The results are far from admirable, but they certainly help. What most people forget is that this is not the original and overriding issue on which the draft was imagined. If you look into the history of professional sports drafts in the USA, the real reason for their inception is to keep rookie payscales to the lowest possible level. So this will never, ever, ever happen.
  19. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Seems like the system would be torn apart if it were legally challenged.

    The draft does work to give the Cavs of the league the LeBrons and the Irvings, so probably no change any time soon. Tanking is the ugly reality of the system.
  20. Mogilny

    Mogilny All-Star Forum Donor

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    Perhaps it helps to retain the local fan interest in the small markets but if the goal is to maximize the total fan interest for the game I'm not convinced. I'm not claiming it's not the best model but I haven't seen anyone make a conclusive case for it. The NFL is doing great with an environment where the Panthers may win one year and 3 years later go 2-14 while the Premiership is doing great with an environment where pretty good teams like Aston Villa, Newcastle and Tottenham hardly have a 1/100 of winning the title.


    But it's the super teams that make the EPL the most successful league in the world when it comes to fan interest. I doubt the international fan base would have been close to where it is now if the Wigans, the West Hams , the Stokes and the Sunderlands of the league would have won a bunch of the titles instead of the giants or been the teams representing the league in the european cups. The almost century long dynasties of what was earlier the big four (Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and since the middle of the 90's Chelsea) is what has created the large fan bases outside England. The same goes for the La Liga with Barca and Real.

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