Is Tanking in Sports Bad?

Blake Haffer, reporter

In recent seasons around sports, some would say that the playoff races have become less and less competitive.  A big reason for this is tanking.

When a team tanks, it means that they may be losing on purpose or even trading away their top players in order to lose more games.  Why would a team want to do this? The order that teams pick in the drafts are decided by which teams do the worst. So, the worst teams gets the best pick.  This rule was made in order to make all teams more competitive. A team may tank if the owner or general manager does not think they are good enough to win in the payoffs, or that they are just too old of a team.  By using the tanking method, the team will earn an earlier draft pick with the hope of drafting a young star out of high school or college.

A team that has recently used this method to rebuild their roster is the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA.  They performed in such a way to receive top picks in each of the last four NBA drafts and the number one overall pick in the last two.  Now, with all of those young players on the team, the 76ers currently hold a playoff spot in the eastern conference.

Another example would be the Miami Marlins in the MLB.  After missing the playoffs every year since 2003, they decided to blow up the roster this offseason.  They traded away all three of their starting outfielders including All Star Marcell Ozuna and former home run derby champion Giancarlo Stanton.  By doing so, the Marlins are obviously looking to build toward the future as they have added many top prospects in the previously mentioned trades.

So here is the big question.  Is tanking in sports bad? NBA commissioner Adam Silver  said in an article by Yahoo Sports that he will not tolerate teams tanking in his league.  He said that he will closely monitor team play to make sure teams are actually trying to win.  Tanking obviously makes games less competitive and therefore less exciting to watch for fans. Everybody wants to watch a close game which cannot be done if one team is not giving their all.

In my opinion, tanking is a problem.  It makes games a lot less exciting when you don’t get to see close games or even the team’s best players performing as much as they should be.