NEW YORK, NY: Big news today out of the NBA Headquarters. Tanking, a slang term for deliberately losing, has become synonymous with the NBA for years now. Hell, in the case of the 76ers, it was embraced. As talent from draft prospects becomes more disparate, teams find themselves more inclined to attain those individuals through tanking rather than stick with their current roster of professionals. The NBA has struggled for a long time in trying to monitor and prevent tanking for the sake of the league’s integrity. Now, they finally have the answer.
Effective immediately, teams deemed guilty of tanking will be forced to sign, and play Austin Rivers. Better referred to as the, “Rivers Rule.” “We understand teams feel that if they want to take a step forward they must first take a step back. By that logic, imagine what taking ten steps back would do.”* Said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Granted, tanking takes place in many forms but not all bad teams tank. So while overall record will be the most important factor towards determining if a team is tanking, other factors will be taken into consideration as well.
For example, some elements that will have a severe negative impact:
- Quality of new players signed, or traded for, is below that of the old players released or traded
- Quality of players taking game winning shots (I.e. is a center shooting a game winning 3 on a designed play)
- Average PPG is under 90 for the season
- Has Lebron showed interest in you as a team?
Elements that will be taken into consideration to save teams from the Rivers Rule:
- Were any star players injured midseason?
- Are you owned by James Dolan?
- Did the team ever employ Isaiah Thomas or Phil Jackson or Derek Fisher to oversee basketball operations? Of any kind? At any point?
- Are you the New York Knicks?
The idea behind the buffers is to acknowledge that some teams are not tanking, but just truly untalented. The league also announced four tiers of punishment which will be determined after all information is considered and accounted for:
- Tier 1 – 2 year $20 million contract. Must play a minimum of 7 minutes a game
- Tier 2 – 3 year $45 million contract. Must play every minute of every 4th quarter and overtime
- Tier 3 – 4 year $80 million contract. Must start every game and average 20 minutes per game or score 20 points. Can be subbed after either happens first. Includes No Trade Clause
- Tier 4 – Max Contact and Doc Rivers becomes the Head Coach and GM
It’s a new era for the NBA, and a Rivers runs through it.
Editor’s Note: We still have no idea whether or not Adam Silver was serious in his logic or making a snide joke. His tone is unintelligible to human emotion.