Like every other professional sport commissioner, NBA's Adam Silver is not a fan of tanking.
However, there are multiple teams still doing it in plain sight this season, with the Knicks among them. During his press conference at NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, NC, Silver talked about tanking and how "corrosive" he believes it is to organizations.
"There's a mindset that if you're going to be bad, you might as well be really bad," Silver told the Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "I believe personally that's corrosive for those organizations."
Silver knows he can't eliminate tanking entirely in the NBA, but he will continue to think of ways to stop it as much as possible. One of those ways is changing the draft lottery once again this year to the worst three teams having the same percentage to be awarded the No. 1 overall pick.
The Knicks are 11-47 on the season thus far, which is good for second-worst in the NBA behind the Suns (11-48). Coming into this season, everyone from team president Steve Mills to new head coach David Fizdale preached how developing the young roster pieces was more important than coming away with wins.
In turn, the Knicks are hoping this summer is an eventful one with a high draft pick and money to spend on top free agents. But Silver doesn't want teams that are not playoff contenders to have the same mindset each year.
"I still think it's a bit early and then we'll see what happens to see if certain teams behavior is rewarded through the lottery," Silver said. "Clearly, in many cases the odds are not in their favor. I recognize in terms of analytics it doesn't mean the strategy is going to be eliminated completely. As you know this is the sixth time we've changed the lottery and I'm pretty sure we acknowledged at the time and people familiar with the operation of other leagues, you understand why there's relegation in European soccer, for example. Because you pay an enormous price if you're not competitive. And I think for the league and for our teams there's that ongoing challenge if we can come up with a better system."
It may seem excessive for Silver to implement a system like Eurpoean soccer has, but it has worked for them. For now, though, teams like the Knicks will continue to tank with the hope their ping pong ball is selected in the end.