The issue of tanking has been one of the hottest topics in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the past few years. As the regular season winds down, teams that are already out of playoff contention and lounging below the team standings have been under the microscope in relation to tanking.
According to a report from ESPN, the Chicago Bulls who currently holds a 22–42 win-loss record recently talked to the league office in relation to how they should be handling their remaining 18 games. With the playoffs no longer in their sights, the Bulls are already looking forward to the offseason, particularly the NBA Draft Lottery. With the tanking issue becoming a hot topic, the league is reportedly taking a closer look at the Bulls' lineup to make sure that latter will not be guilty of committing it.
Interestingly, the Bulls have opted to rest veterans Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday in favor of young guns Cristiano Felicio and David Nwaba. "After the All-Star break, we had communication with the league office about Robin and Justin's roles," said Bulls executive vice president John Paxson.
"After healthy dialogue, the league determined that their situations fall into the 'player rest' policy. We respect the communication and cooperative dialogue with the league and will adhere to their recommendations going forward," Paxson added.
Moreover, Paxson and Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg have been consistent in avoiding the term "tanking" or the idea of deliberately losing games. Instead, they have harked on the idea that they would want to see what the prospects are for the near future.
Earlier this month, ABC Sports reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a memo, explaining the $600,000 fine he imposed on Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban regarding the latter's remarks on tanking.
"We have been careful to distinguish between efforts teams may make to rebuild their rosters, including through personnel changes over the course of several seasons, and circumstances in which players or coaches on the floor take steps to lose games," read Silver's memo.
Back in February, Cuban said in the "House Call with Dr. J" podcast that since the Mavericks are already out of the playoff picture, it would be their "best option" to lose their remaining games.