Tanking has been plaguing the NBA for as long as it has been around. It is a terrible curse which insults not only the integrity of the league, but the very idea of class and dignity. Many teams have fallen victim to a regime that wanted to tank. Many teams have let themselves lose in hopes of this mythical savior that comes to them in the draft. Many teams have sold their futures in the name of ping pong balls that care not a lick about them. The Kings are not one of those teams.
Like Joan of Arc, the Minutemen, Leonidas, and hundreds of history’s bravest rebels, the Sacramento Kings have put themselves on the right side of history by seeing this tank and rather than getting inside, standing in its way and wreaking (no, I’m not going to say Reke-ing havoc cause we have Tyreke Evans, that would be immature) on the higher-ups scoffable tank. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Kings are revolting. Other teams, like the typically evil Lakers who may lose a pick altogether, are joining in. Fighting against a process (I’m looking at you, Sam Hinkie) that not only insults the intelligence of the great fans of this wonderful sport, but takes away the heart and soul of everything that makes us human. What side of history are you going to be on?
In the wonderful play, Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton asks his future murderer (spoiler alert) Aaron Burr, “If you stand for nothing, Burr, what will you fall for?” The Kings, facing the prospect of lost picks and lower odds are standing for what is right. We do not know what the draft will bring! Sure, it may bring a LeBron James with the odds in their favor, but it also may bring an Anthony Bennett or Greg Oden. The Kings could theoretically have Steph Curry, Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard, and Damian Lillard right now due to their greater draft odds. Instead they have… literally none of the remnants of those drafts, unless you count Tyreke coming back as still having him.
Tanking rips away at the moral fiber of what it means to be a great person. It is saying that the easy way out is the answer. It is playing the entire season for one day at the end of June, or throwing away the last two months in hopes that maybe, just maybe the right pick will mean happiness. Picking well is still the correct answer, whether the Kings have the second pick in their best case scenario, or the ninth pick. Tanking is that devil that is peering over our shoulder as the angel on the other side warns against it. Tanking is Chancellor Palpatine secretly grooming a young naïve Anakin to join the dark side. Tanking is an act of evil. An act of treason against fans. A crime against good taste, and Dr. James Naismith. By dismissing tanking, and fighting for the greater cause, we can focus on the development these games may bring the guys the team already has. We can build off of these games and make them a positive.
We can stop wasting the fans’ money, time, and effort by making the lottery odds the number one priority for every single bad team, and instead worrying about where the odds may fall. Sure, it may screw the team over, but I blame that on the trade. What I will not blame, is a group of young man and a coach who are going out there every night and playing the game, rather than playing the lotto. Like so many other revolutionaries and visionaries. The Kings will go down on the right side of history.
Now, tell me, are you going to be there with them?