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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver dismisses tanking concerns

Does Adam Silver think we’re that dumb?

The new NBA commissioner rejected the notion that teams have been tanking this season, telling reporters in Boston on Wednesday that he didn’t think coaches or players were intentionally losing games.

Uh, duh.

It’s management that stocks its team’s won-loss ledger with Ls. It does so by failing to sign star free agents and trading players such as Paul Pierce, Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner, leaving behind a mishmash of nobodies who increase a team’s chance of obtaining a top draft pick by bottoming out in the standings.

Anybody who blames Boston’s Kelly Olynyk or Philadelphia’s James Anderson for their teams being terrible is missing the point.

“The coaches and players, or some subset of that group, trying to lose, I don’t think that’s going on anywhere in the NBA,” Silver said. “And I would take action immediately if I thought it was.”

Silver did seem to acknowledge the widely held belief that there’s nothing worse than being mediocre in the NBA because it leaves teams with little chance of quickly improving through the draft.

“We have a system in place that encourages teams to rebuild,” Silver said. “They are responding to the incentives that are built into the system. If the incentives aren’t right, then we have to change them.”

That would likely entail changing a draft lottery system that usually rewards teams with the worst records. Until then, some front offices will undoubtedly continue to put their teams in the best possible position to fail.

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