With the 2013-2014 NBA Draft projected to be the deepest since the 2003 draft that produced us LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, there have been all types of reports that some NBA teams have planned to “tank” the season in hopes of increasing their chances of landing a top-3 pick. But Duke Blue Devils legendary coach Mike Krzyewski isn’t on board with tanking, calling it “a shame” if it’s indeed happening.
“If that is happening, shame on whoever is doing it,” Krzyzewski said following the Blue Devils lost to Kansas and top prospect Andrew Wiggins Tuesday night.. “As an American, I wouldn’t like to think that an American team would want to lose or create situations where you would want to lose. “I can’t even fathom — I can’t go there. I can’t believe that that would happen. Maybe I’m naive and I’m going to go read a fairytale after this.”
The fact of the matter is that, if teams are indeed tanking, there’s good reason to be. Even if a team doesn’t land the top pick, anywhere in the top-5 could get them a franchise-changing talent. Wiggins is being touted as the best prospect since LeBron, and fellow freshmen Jabari Parker (Duke) and Julius Randle (Kentucky) aren’t far behind. Add in Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, the Harrison Twins from Kentucky and Oklahoma State sophomore point guard Marcus Smart, and you have slew of potential lottery picks to choose from.
Tanking isn’t good, but it’s an understandable concept for a franchise to employ. If you aren’t going to be a contender, why not try to increase your chances of landing a great player? It worked for Dan Gilbert the Cavaliers. Twice. It’s an ugly concept but it’s part of professional sports, whether we want to accept it or not.
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