Thunder coach rules out possibility of ‘race to the bottom’…
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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has suggested that the Oklahoma City Thunder should consider tanking given their current injury crisis.
Cuban questioned whether it would be in the franchise’s long-term interest to sit both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for the rest of the season in order to get a chance to obtain a lottery pick.
Durant is currently sidelined with a fractured foot which will likely keep him out until the start of January while Westbrook had surgery on a fractured right hand that will see him in the treatment room until next month.
Cuban said he would not consider it a breach of NBA integrity if the Thunder essentially gave up on this season in order to improve their odds of winning a title in the near future.
“The question I don’t think anybody has asked is, why don’t they pull a David Robinson and try to get Tim Duncan?” said Cuban.
“We already specialize in a race to the bottom. More participants won’t change anything. They’re all high-profile participants.”
Cuban was referring to the 1996/97 Spurs team that won just 20 games but played a critical role in shaping the future of the franchise after acquiring Duncan with the No.1 overall pick as Robinson sat out the season after suffering back and foot injuries.
The Spurs went on win their first title two seasons later and so Cuban believes that the precedent is there for the Thunder if they wanted to follow suit and sacrifice success this season for a better chance of building a team capable of winning a championship next season.
Oklahoma City have stumbled to a 2-5 start to the campaign in the absence of their dynamic duo, but Cuban suggested that he wouldn’t adopt the same tactic with the Mavericks as he is also proud of the fact that they have never had a losing record since he became owner of the organisation.