HoopsHype Tanking rumors

December 10, 2013 Updates

For the Spurs, corporate knowledge is the institutional memory that resides in their core players and coach, Gregg Popovich. It's the accumulation and access of information that has developed over the comfort of a decade's worth of continuity. In the case of the Sixers, competing consistently is the first step. When asked about winning versus tanking, Clippers coach Doc Rivers offered some insight prior to the Monday-night meeting with the 76ers: "Upstairs is worried about pingpong balls. Downstairs is worried about basketballs. That's what you see when you see [Philadelphia] play. Those kids are playing hard. Coach [Brett] Brown is coaching hard. They don't care about anything else but that game." ESPN.com

November 18, 2013 Updates

But ask the veterans on a team that has been tagged to lose, and the subject is grating, going against the way most professional athletes are wired. “I don’t know about that,” said Celtics forward Gerald Wallace, who has played in this kind of environment before, specifically as part of the 2004-05 Bobcats. “We only won (18) games, and there was talk of losing to get higher up in the draft, but we wanted to win every game, play hard every game, and try to prove ourselves in this league. Nobody wants to lose, regardless of what the coach or the organization wants to do.” Boston Herald

November 17, 2013 Updates

But ask the veterans on a team that has been tagged to lose, and the subject is grating, going against the way most professional athletes are wired. “I don’t know about that,” said Celtics forward Gerald Wallace, who has played in this kind of environment before, specifically as part of the 2004-05 Bobcats. “We only won (18) games, and there was talk of losing to get higher up in the draft, but we wanted to win every game, play hard every game, and try to prove ourselves in this league. Nobody wants to lose, regardless of what the coach or the organization wants to do.” That hasn’t changed, even if Wallace has often been withering in criticism of his new Celtics teammates. “Nah. These guys don’t want to lose,” he said. Boston Herald

November 8, 2013 Updates

NBA general manager: "I'm not one of those GMs that subscribes to the tanking theory. You can lose all the games you want, but you're still not guaranteed to get the top pick. Not since 2004 has the team with the most losses won the top pick. The moment you intentionally start trying to tank, and that philosophy gets in your building, it's hard to get it out. Teams that have done that over the years in trying to get the top pick have ended up being in the lottery for nine, 10 years straight. It's one thing if you're doing that in the NFL, where if you've got the worst record you're guaranteed to get the first pick. I could go along with that a little bit. "But what I would expect Sam Hinkie to do is to get on the phone and try to move his last good veteran pieces that are playing well. I'm sure [agent] David Falk is trying to get Evan Turner out of there. But I don't know who takes him because Turner is in the last year of his contract, and Falk is trying to get a lot of money for him. And the problem is that a guy like Thaddeus Young is hard to move because of his contract. So I don't know who would trade anything of value for him. As far as beginning to believe in the guys they have and thinking they can build around them, [the current Sixers regime] won't do that because then they would be validating the [front office] guys who were there before you.'' ESPN.com

"It's hard to tank, though. It's one thing if there wasn't a lottery like the NFL. But because there's never anything guaranteed, tanking is a hard thing to do. It's easy to say you're going to do it, but when you're going through the dog days of January and you're 5-30 and there are 4,000 people in the stands, it's painful. The other thing is that while Andrew Wiggins is a good prospect, he's not the next LeBron -- or even Kobe when he came out back in '96. He's not that. He's a very good player, but it's not like when Tim Duncan was coming out of college.'' ESPN.com

"Would I start to think I've got a nucleus to build around if I were Hinkie? Hell, no. There is no part of me that thinks they have something to build around. Come on, look at that roster. I'm not saying they're horrible, but it's just not realistic at all. They will probably try to trade Evan Turner, but that's going to be tough. David Falk is going to ask for the world [in Turner's next contract]. He's a tough agent. Everybody's thinking that. Turner's qualifying offer is $8 million. I don't see him as a star player. I think Carter-Williams could be. But regardless, believe me, this start is nothing. Three games in the NBA is nothing.'' ESPN.com

NBA executive No. 1: "I would think about moving Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes. And that's only if this winning continues. I don't know how long it can. This is the time of year when the poor teams -- if they're going to win games -- win a few because the guys on the team still believe they can win. Midway through the season, they won't have the same amount of confidence once they realize they're not a good team. So I would be stunned if they can sustain this. Besides Michael Carter-Williams, Turner, Hawes and Thaddeus Young, they've got nobody. There is no way, if I were Hinkie, I would begin to think this is a nucleus I can build around. No way. Not right now. I thought before the season they were going to win less than 10 games. Their bench guys weren't even that good in college. ESPN.com

October 31, 2013 Updates

Earlier in the week one anonymous NBA general manager told ESPN the Magazine that his club is actively tanking. On 98.5 the Sports Hub's "Toucher and Rich Show" this morning, Danny Ainge was asked if he's the guy. Here's his response: “No. First of all, I don’t do anonymous. If I say something I just say it. Second of all, I don’t talk to the media about those kind of plans. We’re trying to build a culture. We want to win, we want our guys to learn. We want our coach, who is a young new coach, to experience winning. At a certain time in the year your goals may change, but at this time right now we’re trying to win every game.” Celtics Life

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