Context: It’s reasonable to understand why tanking is a very sensitive subject amongst Lakers fans, as this is something that has hardly been associated with the franchise and its storied history. But after Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle impressed during their playing debuts at the collegiate level, it has raised the discussion on whether tanking might be a reasonable option for the 2013-2014 Lakers.
Kobe Bryant recently spoke on the subject of tanking, and had and interesting point to make regarding the topic in an interview with Jim Rome on Jim Rome on Showtime. Naturally, Bryant stated that tanking is something that no franchise should partake in, as he feels that it sets a bad precedent for the culture of the team.
As for the Lakers franchise, the security of their future is now in question after Dwight Howard elected to go to Houston and partner up with James Harden. And simply relying on the “Lakers mystique” to attract free agents hasn’t proved to necessarily work, being that the only major free agent the Lakers brought to Los Angeles in the last 20 years was Shaquille O’Neal in 1996.
Given this roster, and Kobe Bryant’s timetable for return in limbo, tanking is certainly plausible, but in the end is it the best decision for this franchise?
Verdict: We took this poll question to Twitter to get the fans take on the idea and where they stood on the concept of a tanking
I presented the poll question:
Hey Laker fans, after what we all saw from the three freshmen (Parker, Wiggins, Randle), do you think the Lakers should tank? #LakersDebate
— Ry (@JustRyCole) November 14, 2013
Here are some responses.
Tanking is a very tricky discussion, and I can understand the logic from both sides.
Barring some blockbuster deal, the Lakers chances of being a contender this season are slim to none, let’s face that fact. In knowing that, the case can certainly be made that it’s more beneficial for this franchise to be very bad instead of mediocre.
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? Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will be gone in the foreseeable future, and after that fans will be looking for someone to turn to. And given the slim amount of big-time free agents available in 2014 (no guarantee that LeBron and/or Carmelo decide to leave), the draft is going to be one of the first places the front office will have to turn to. So why not give yourself the best chance at getting the best possible pick?
I understand the point from the opposite view as well. Why give the security of your franchise to chance? Make your own luck. There’s naturally no guarantee that if the Lakers do tank, that they’ll end up with Wiggins, Parker, or Randle. There’s also the “We’re the Lakers!” stance, as this franchise has prided itself on letting the front-office figure it out, rather than partaking in schematic tactics to re-build the team.
Ultimately I have to agree with the tweet from @TheLakerLion. The Lakers front-office has seemingly always found some way to pull off a deal that alters the course of the franchise. No matter how hard the situation they figure it out. Whether that trade is this season, next, or in two years, I’m confident it’ll happen.
What about you? What’s your take?
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