Topic Of Debate: Tanking, and whether the Lakers should consider it, given the fact that this team is battling a multitude of injuries.
Context: About a month ago, we at Lakers Nation observed the idea of tanking, and asked fans what they thought about it. With an amazing NBA draft class coming up in 2014, and the Lakers title chances looking very slim, why not try to increase your chances at getting the best possible player available? Seems logical right? Well not exactly, according to Lakers fans.
A good portion of the fans were against the idea. At the time, many were waiting on the anticipated comeback of Kobe Bryant, as they felt that this team’s chances couldn’t fully be evaluated until they saw how the team performed with him on the court.
Unfortunately for the Lakers and their fans, they received some shocking news on yesterday when it was announced that Kobe Bryant will have to miss at least six weeks of playing time after suffering a knee fracture against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.
The Lakers are 12-13, and are currently missing four rotation players due to injures. Barring some incredible trade, there is no way this roster is a built to contend in the Western Conference. Tanking (be it respectable or not), is a legitimate option at this point.
And given Kobe Bryant’s need to recover, it might be the best thing for this team right now.
Verdict: We took this poll question to Twitter to get the fans take on whether they changed their mind on whether or not the Lakers should tank.
I presented the poll question:
Hey Lakers fans, given Kobe’s injury, has your stance on tanking now changed? #LakersDebate
— Ry (@JustRyCole) December 19, 2013
Here are some responses:
@JustRyCole it’s not really tanking if you try to win and keep losing right ? — Martel (@ThoughtsofCole) December 19, 2013
@JustRyCole before I was against it, now I’m for it even though I realize it doesn’t guarantee the #1 overall or a Top 5. — Future TNT Analyst (@the_rANT_) December 19, 2013
@JustRyCole No. Never tank. Wear that Laker uniform with pride avg try to win every game.
— D. (@Djayy_Green) December 19, 2013
@JustRyCole In a strange way, I’m glad. Now, they don’t have to make that choice. #Wiggins
— Craig Dickinson (@influxman) December 19, 2013
Kobe’s recent injury has certainly softened up a few of the Lakers fans, as the opinions on tanking are varied now, as opposed to a month ago. There’s a natural pride that comes with being a Laker fan, but sometimes that has to give.
As mentioned before, while making the playoffs as a 7th or 8th seed for the sake of saying “I told you so!” is inspiring, what good does that do for this franchise moving forward? There are some gaping questions that are going to have to be answered.
$48.5-million dollars is committed to Kobe Bryant over the next two seasons, and salary cap restrictions can either prevent the Lakers from bringing in the caliber players they would like, or keep them from retaining pieces on this current roster that they want.
Because of that, the front office should do their best in trying to bring in the best possible player from this 2014 NBA draft class.
I myself am confident in the front office, and trust there judgement, but I’m starting to lean on the concept of tanking.
What about you? Has your stance changed?
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