Commissioner Adam Silver reminded all 30 NBA teams that tanking “has no place in our game” in a memo sent last week to explain the league’s six-figure fine of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
“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,” Silver wrote in the memo, obtained by USA Today Sports.
Starting with the 2019 draft, the three teams with the worst records will share a 14 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick, a move intended to lessen the incentive to lose at the end of the season.
“We have no basis at this time to conclude that the Mavericks team is giving anything less than its best effort on the court, and Mark has assured us that this is not the case,” Silver said in the memo. “But even a suggestion that such conduct could be occurring is obviously damaging to our game, as it creates a perception of impropriety. It is also extraordinarily unfair to the players and coaches who are, in fact, competing at their highest possible level every night.
“You are therefore advised to avoid such statements, and to pass along this admonition to all other key personnel in your organizations. We will continue to monitor closely the play of all teams during the remainder of the season.”
With injured star Kawhi Leonard sitting on the bench, the Spurs suffered another blow Wednesday night when All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge sprained his right ankle in the first quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Aldridge landed awkwardly after defending Rajon Rondo’s driving layup with 7:17 remaining in the quarter. He tried to play through the pain before leaving the game at the 3:02 Baseball Jerseys Wholesale mark of the quarter, heading to the locker room with head athletic trainer Will Sevening.
Veteran center Pau Gasol also contributed to the club’s injury woes, sitting Cheap NFL Jerseys USA out Wednesday’s matchup due to a bone bruise in his left knee that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said would likely take more than a week to heal.
In all, Spurs players have missed 149 games this season due to injuries (169 total).
A clear timetable for Leonard’s return remains unclear.