After Tuesday's Champions Classic, in which Julius Randle, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins showcased the future of basketball, some NBA GMs may want to consider tanking this year.
At least one GM has admitted to tanking in advance of one of the most anticipated drafts in recent memory, and there may be others who are following suit.
Mike Krzyzewski has a message for those men: Shame on you.
Parker's coach, who has mentored dozens of NBA draft picks during his three decade tenure at Duke, said in the strongest language possible that tanking is an embarrassment to the NBA and even the country.
“As an American, I wouldn't like to think that an American team would [ever] want to lose or create situations where you would want to lose,” Krzyzewski said after Duke's 94-83 loss to Kansas. “I can’t even fathom. I can’t go there."
While it's still very early, many experts are speculating that the 2014 NBA draft could feature more talent than any since the 2003 draft that produced LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony, among others.
The subject of tanking has always been looked-down on, which is why the NBA adjusted its selection process so that the worst team doesn't necessarily get the top pick. But still, good odds are better than no odds. And while front offices may be unwilling to admit it, it's hard not to be enticed by young players like Randle, Parker and Wiggins.
"I can't believe that that would happen," Krzyzewski said. "Maybe I'm naive and I’m going to go read a fairy tale after this."
For his part, Kansas coach Bill Self echoed Krzyzewski's message.
"I don't think anybody's tanking," Self said. "I know that guys like to play and compete, and I guess you can make sure that you don't play certain guys, which I don't think has happened."