The NBA’s quest to curb tanking is reportedly supported by research that claims fans dislike tanking.
NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that tanking “is making [fans] less interested in the League.”
According to Wojnarowski, NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes the proposed changes to the draft lottery and player-rest strategy are “important for the integrity, economics and perception of the League.”
Some of the League’s mid- and small-market teams, however, consider the proposed draft lottery changes to be a “PR” stunt that will ultimately hurt the League.
Many small- to mid-market front offices polled by ESPN are somewhere between neutral and opposed to the reform, but are hesitant to push their owners to vote against Silver’s plan.
Many are unconvinced that an anti-reform agenda is worth the expenditure of political capital necessary to challenge Silver.
As one high-ranking front-office executive lamented to ESPN, “We are putting a fleeting ‘PR’ win over the competitive balance and functionality of the league.”