SIXERS OWNER Josh Harris recently deemed his team's 19-63 season a "huge success."
A lot of fans called it "tanking."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver prefers to call it "rebuilding."
"I don't think rebuilding should be a dirty word," he said yesterday at the Associated Press Sports Editors commissioners meetings in New York. "I think it's necessary in any business. I think bad teams have to make their own strategic decisions. That's not something we're looking to legislate from the league. The jury's out from a strategic standpoint on whether [tanking] is the right way to build a championship team in the first place."
As for Harris' "success" comment?
"My reaction to what Josh said is to put it into context. I think what Josh was saying was in the context of building a championship team and championship organization in Philadelphia. He saw it as a success in a continuum. But, what I also heard him say was that those losses were incredibly difficult for him to stomach . . . I saw 'success' being said in a broader context of what he was trying to achieve over time in Philadelphia."
"Even if you get the first pick in the draft, there's no history of any team - well maybe with Magic [Johnson] - but virtually no history that you can turn around a team with one, or even two draft picks," Silver said. "And, it's incredibly difficult to build a championship team in this league whether you do it through free agency, or through the draft.
Or through tanking?