CON: This Just In: To Tank or Not to Tank?

There is an ongoing epidemic in the sports world. It has infected all of the major sports leagues, and there is currently no cure in sight. Its symptoms are as follows: excessive losing, healthy athletes resting and productive players being traded.

This disease goes by one name: tanking. To sum up the concept, tanking simply means a team sets out to deliberately lose.

For what seems like forever, teams have purposely blew entire seasons for the chance to draft a potential star. Look no further than the Chicago Cubs, who went 200-286 from 2012 to 2014 en route to a World Series win.

Today, tanking seems to be more prevalent than ever, especially in the NBA. With the playoffs on the horizon, the bottom feeders of each conference continue to lose game after game in an all-out race toward the No. 1 pick.

Currently, there are eight teams in the NBA that are separated by only a few games for the honor of being lottery favorites.

When there are only a few teams tanking a year, it is easy to overlook those organizations. However, when nearly one-third of an entire sports league throws away their seasons, a red flag should be raised.

Teams that decide to go down the disgraceful road of tanking ultimately hurt their own popularity. By throwing games on purpose, they detract casual fans from watching the on-court product, thus hurting their revenue.

Additionally, by tanking, these franchises are giving their fans the middle finger.

Imagine paying hundreds of dollars of your hard earned money to watch the Memphis Grizzlies play. Going into the game, you expect to see your favorite player, Marc Gasol, in the starting lineup. Yet when the game tips off, you learn that Gasol is out due to rest and instead are forced to watch a starting lineup of Kobi Simmons, Ben McLemore, Dillon Brooks, JaMychal Green and Jarrell Martin for 48 minutes.

If we are being honest, only avid followers of the NBA outside of Memphis would be able to name that lineup. Basically, you would most likely be upset and feel robbed.

By throwing out lineups full of bench players with virtually have no chance of winning, teams are insulting their fan bases, just for the chance of drafting a potential star.

Furthermore, these franchises may disturb their team’s culture. Tanking goes against everything that athletes were taught when they were groomed for their sport.

If players know that the higher-ups of the organization are voluntarily losing, the players may become disgruntled, thus affecting their competitive nature and on-court play. As a veteran is traded away, it takes away a locker-room presence that may have been able to keep a young team in check, as well as be an example for other players to follow.

Tanking teams also have the potential to damage their athletes’ livelihoods. By benching productive players and limiting their minutes, franchises could cost their athletes millions. Other teams may not be willing to pay these players what they are truly worth after seeing them benched on a losing team.

The pandemic known as tanking is running rampant in the world of sports and there is nothing in place that can stop it. Due to this, franchises will continue to soil the integrity of sports as a whole by intentionally losing game after game. Simply put, tanking has no place in sports and teams should be ashamed of practicing it.