The 2010s were a unique time for NBA fans. Not only was the three-point revolution completely manifested in the Golden State Warriors, but tanking has also become an acceptable way of team-building.
Not everyone is a fan of the process, though. Victor Wembanyama, the top prospect in the 2023 draft that teams are tanking for, finds it weird that they intentionally lose games for the right to draft him first overall.
Bleacher Report interviewed the Frenchman to ask him about his opinion on teams tanking to get him. He didn’t mince words by saying that he found it abnormal how teams were willing to lose their games to get him.
“Tanking? It’s a weird strategy,” the teenage sensation said about the entire situation. “I find it unreasonable, and I try not to think about it. I also heard that the NBA considered changing a few rules for me, but that doesn’t concern me.”
OKBET fans who took the time to watch some of Wembanyama’s highlights will understand why teams are crazy about him. He’ll be among the league’s tallest players at 7’4”, but his fluidity and movement will make him a great centerpiece to build on. His defensive motor also compliments his prodigious scoring ability.
Victor Wembanyama’s stats for Metropolitans this season also reinforce the belief that he’ll become the upcoming draft’s unanimous first pick. He’s averaging 22.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals, and 3.0 blocks a game. While his three-point shot needs work—averaging 30% from deep on five attempts a night—his 47% FG shows how NBA-ready he is.
How Tanking Changed the NBA Landscape
It’s easy to think that tanking is a relatively new concept that Sam Hinkie came up with while looking for a way to transform the Philadelphia 76ers.
However, you would be surprised to learn that a couple of teams used this tactic way back when to get their star players. The 1997 San Antonio Spurs are the shining example of how to do tanking correctly. The 1984 Houston Rockets were another example, as this tanking job got them Hakeem Olajuwon.
The most recent tank jobs saw teams like the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers land their franchise cornerstones, so it’s understandable why teams are building their rosters intending to lose.
While tanking makes sense in a basketball sense, fans don’t like to see losing basketball. The NBA has been trying to discourage tanking by introducing various measures encouraging teams to play winning basketball.
However, there are just some talents like Wembanyama that are too good to miss out on. As long as generational talents come into the NBA, you can expect teams to do everything they can to secure the first pick.