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Volume 25 No. 6
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NBA Notes: Are Stronger Rules Needed To Prevent Tanking?

THE ATHLETIC's Phil Taylor wrote under the header, "With So Many Teams Chasing Ping-Pong Balls Instead Of Wins, NBA Needs To Take Action." Rather than "trying to eliminate the practice, the NBA would be better off trying to reduce the incentive to lose for the sake of draft position, and the most practical way to do that is to change the rules of the lottery." Starting with the '19 Draft, the teams with the three worst records will all have a 14% chance at landing the top pick, but the league "may have to go further, to the point of putting a limit on how often a team can draft that high." A rule that "prohibited any team from drafting in the top three more than once every three years, for instance, could change the calculus enough to make sacrificing multiple seasons not worth the potential reward" (THEATHLETIC.com, 3/12).

GETTING IT RIGHT: In Boston, Gary Washburn noted "improving the relationship between players and officials has been the league’s goal the past few months." NBA VP/Referee Training & Development Monty McCutchen said that the league "wants to begin 'analytically tracking' progress by officials and how well and effectively they are communicating with players." The players "fully realize they aren’t going to like all of the calls, but seek consistency and the ability to dispute calls under emotional control without fear of a technical foul." A primary issue that has "escalated player-official bickering is the influx of new and younger officials," who tend to have "shorter leashes with players and at times have escalated disputes" (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 3/10).

NOT SO MINOR LEAGUE? In Boston, Christopher Gasper wrote what the G League is missing the "presence of top prospects" for the '18 NBA Draft. The league "shouldn’t be primarily a landing spot for players who fall through the cracks." It should also "provide a bridge from high school to the NBA for highly touted prospects who are interested in a hoops higher education, not the kind found in a college classroom." The G League "should be a place where high school prospects who want to get (legally) paid for their talents can play instead of being conscripted into the college basketball industrial complex." The league "evolving into a legitimate alternative for wannabe one-and-done stars is a win-win-win scenario" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/11).