The NBA Should Fine the Sacramento Kings and Others for Blatantly Tanking
The NBA likes to say they are the "League of the Future" and the fastest growing Sports---besides Soccer...in the world.
But the NBA has a dirty little secret that if they don't address soon, they're going to loose fans. Quickly....
The NBA has become a league with 4 or 5 great teams, a bunch of average teams and at least a half dozen teams trying to become the worst team in the league...intentionally.
And those teams--despite allegedly having paying customers attending games---aren't even trying to hide their stated claims of trying to suck....
Monday night after losing 95-88 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kings Head Coach Dave Joerger admitted it publicly when he announced he was sitting at least two veteran players per game from here on out.
Mind you, the Kings...along with the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz in the West and the Hawks and Magic along with Brooklyn, Chicago and Charlotte in the East have zero chance of winning their conference--never mind the division.
Nor do any of the above teams have a chance of making the playoffs. So they all are playing to lose.
If you go look it up--these teams are all separated by 5-games or less this season most, if not all still realistically have a shot at grabbing the #1 pick.
But who suffers here?
Yeah, that's right--the paying customers....
It's very hard to quantify Professional Sports paid attendance figures because almost every team inflates them. They count season ticket holders who don't come, business suite or box seat holders who don't show up but not tickets given away, which is how you get the inflated numbers.
For example: "Officially" The Kings are 17th in the league in "Attendance" averaging over 17,500 a game. Sorry--I just don't buy that.
The Atlanta Hawks are dead LAST in the league (30th) averaging "14,239" a game. Yeah, sure, living in Atlanta and knowing the apathy for a crappy team---the fact their last is not a surprise. But to watch a game on TV is to know that 14,000+ figure is "Highly" inflated....
I suppose the NBA really doesn't give a crap about this because they're getting paid. The league makes $Billions off their TV deals and the marquee teams (Golden St, Cleveland, Boston, Houston) stacked with "Stars" more than make up for the crappy ones.
But if that's the case--why have 30 franchises. Why have alleged billionaire owners pumping money into a franchise who's sold purpose is to suck the worst?
And yes, there is hope for some of the tanking teams---The Philadelphia 76ers were awful for what seemed like a decade, but after stockpiling a ton of top draft picks, they've shown signs of life as a .500 (20-20) team at the half-way point.
And yeah, Baseball does it too. The Miami Marlins seem to be going that route by trading their best players. The Braves did it and are showing signs after 4-years of being competitive. The Astros, the Cubs and others did the same thing.
My point is this.
With disposable income becoming an issue for many---how do you justify selling a product you know is going to be awful? How do you convince someone to come see your Billion dollar investment if you know the product is inferior??
That's the problem the NBA has. It's easier to hide in the eternal marathon known as baseball with lower ticket prices. The NBA for all of its flash and fairly long season---doesn't give many people an incentive to come watch--unless one of those "Marquee" teams shows up to play a tanking one. You then get a situation where most of the fans in the home teams gym, likely are cheering for the other team....