Trying your best to win is what professional competitors are supposed to do. Tanking spits in the face of that. Losing on purpose just to get a better draft position is a weak strategy. Surrendering your season and trying to lose is immoral and puts players in a confusing position. Here is John Friel of Bleacher Report with more:
The NBA, and every other sporting organization, needs to realize that the fans are what drive their business. Without fans buying individual and season tickets or memorabilia, the NBA doesn't exist. You can have all the millionaires and billionaires that own the franchises to fund the team, but it won't mean anything without the fans.It's not fair to the fans of a team when they expect their full strength squad, and instead, get a squad composed of second- and third-stringers. Tickets for these games aren't cheap. If you're attending any type of sporting event, you're usually making a significant commitment to letting go of a large portion of your finances.
People hate tanking because it works. Tanking gives teams the opportunity to change their fortunes in the draft with a franchise player. It's a smart way to assure a good position and it's resulted in teams like the Philadelphia 76ers to building successful teams.
If the Warriors can unite to form NBA Voltron (and KD will be the head!), why can’t the Suns, Kings, Magic, and the rest of the would-be rebuilders fast break in a different direction? Those teams aren’t winning anything anytime soon. Losing now to hopefully win later—especially when everyone knows they’re going to lose now—makes sense. The lottery is inarguably the best and sometimes only way for small-market teams to secure quality players. From a long-term asset acquisition and competition standpoint, tanking could prove to be a smart strategy for the little guys who dream of becoming giants.
But that’s only part of why the anti-tanking push is foolish. It’s hard to imagine that this new proposal will curb tanking and polish whatever part of the NBA’s image was tarnished as a result of the approach. (More on all that shortly.) And—importantly from a product perspective—the NBA is now a year-round league. A good portion of the unending attraction is owed to the draft and summer league and trades and gossip. Tanking fuels all those things. Tanking helps make the offseason enjoyable. Tanking acts as a catalyst on interest. The offseason is the real season for bad teams. Fans of bad teams geek out on it. I geek out on it. In an admittedly weird and sometimes perverse way, tanking isn’t just smart, it’s fun. I come not to bury tanking, but to praise it.