NBA Commissioner Adam Silver promises swift and harsh punishment for teams that tank 

By Scooby Axson
February 28, 2018

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver warned teams against the practice of "tanking" and said that such conduct will result in "the swiftest and harshest response possible from the league office."

Silver express his concerns in a letter, obtained by USA Today Sports.

The letter was likely in response to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban saying "losing is our best option." Cuban was fined $600,000 for those comments.

Silver said in the memo to the league that at this time there is no reason to believe the Mavericks are losing on purpose. 

“The integrity of the competition on the playing court is the cornerstone of our league,” Silver wrote. “It is our pact with the fans and with each other, the fundamental reason we exist as a preeminent sporting organization, the very product that we sell. With everything else changing around us, it is the one thing in our league that can never change. We must do everything in our power to protect the actual and perceived integrity of the game.”

Silver said that teams that take steps to lose games has "no place in our game."

"The integrity of the competition on the playing court is the cornerstone of our league,” Silver said. “It is our pact with the fans and with each other, the fundamental reason we exist as a preeminent sporting organization, the very product that we sell. With everything else changing around us, it is the one thing in our league that can never change. We must do everything in our power to protect the actual and perceived integrity of the game.”

The race for that elusive ping-pong ball is heating up as the season winds down.

The bottom five teams in the league in terms of winning percentage standing have lost 34 games in a row, including Western Conference bottom feeders the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, which have each lost 10 games in a row.

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