Dallas Mavericks

Fans are really unrealistic -- Mavericks should NOT be tanking games

Special to the Star-Telegram

I’ll never understand fans and the way they rationalize things.

The Dallas Mavericks roll out to a poor 2-13 record a month into an NBA season that lasts almost six months, and fans immediately want them to trash the remaining five months of the season so they can increase their position in the NBA Draft.

You can’t be serious!

Even if the Mavericks, now 8-21, granted your Christmas wish and tanked the rest of the season, there are no guarantees they’ll land the top pick in the next NBA Draft. Plus, the team with the worst record only has a 25 percent chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

Those are extremely terrible odds for all that tanking.

And unless another Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal AND LeBron James have applied for the 2017 NBA Draft, trying to intentionally lose games to get a very high pick in the draft is really not a great idea.

I know you’ve already heard that the next draft will be a deep one. But if you’re honest, you hear that every year – until the next year when we discover how lousy the last draft was.

Before a draft commences, no one has the guts to come out and say, ‘You know what, this is going to be a really lousy draft. If I had a team I would be trading every pick I have in the upcoming draft.’

That’s not going to happen.

The truth of the matter is, drafting is an inexact science. With few exceptions, no one can predict how great, so-so or downright pitiful a player will be.

And that crosses all sports borders.

Otherwise, Tom Brady would NOT have been a sixth-round draft pick, Ryan Leaf would NOT have been the No. 2 overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft, Adam Morrison would NOT have been the No. 3 overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft, and Dak Prescott would NOT have been a fourth-round draft pick.

Do the names Andrea Barngani, Anthony Bennett, Kwame Brown, Joe Smith, Greg Oden, Michael Olowokandi or "Never Nervous" Pervis Ellison ring a bell? They all were No. 1 overall picks in the NBA Draft and had less than stellar NBA careers.

Do the names Karl Malone, Steve Nash, Reggie Miller, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman, Marc Gasol, Joe Dumars or Zach Randolph ring a bell? None of those players were lottery picks.

Besides, when you’re not playing your best players so you can tank games and lose games on purposes, you’re sliding down a slippery slope. Basically, you’re teaching your young players how to lose, and that losing is AOK.

Intentionally losing games is not a habit you want your players to be AOK with. In all good conscious, you want to try and win every game you possibly can.

Then, you do your due diligence as a franchise and draft responsibly.

And you say a prayer that the draft pick pans out.

Dwain Price: 817-390-7760, @dwainprice