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NBA commissioner Adam Silver is not a fan of 'The Process'

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is not a fan of 'The Process'

There's a dirty word that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver really hates saying. 

Tanking.

It's been something the league has been trying to find a way to eliminate for a while. 

Silver sees it as bad for business when teams make it incredibly obvious that they want nothing to do with winning during the season, instead opting for piling up losses and a chance to increase those ping pong ball odds and land a higher draft pick in the summer.

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In his courtside interview with our Chris Miller Wednesday night though, Silver was asked about how teams like the Sixers have handled their rebuilding, and he wasn't shy about his dislike for "The Process".

He even said the dirty word at one point. 

"I haven't made a secret out of the fact that, in terms of the so-called 'process', we actually just changed the draft lottery. Not that the team (Sixers) did anything wrong, they took advantage of existing rules, but in fairness to other teams in the league you now have a team in the 76ers who had one of the worst four-year records in the history of the league. And that's not good for anybody" said Silver. 

The rule changes Silver is talking about will reduce the odds so that the teams with the three worst records will share the same chance of receiving the No. 1 overall draft pick.  

This starts in the 2019 NBA Draft. 

Will it really  deter teams from trying to increase their odds? Maybe slightly.

The fact is though, that unless you're a franchise that can afford to pay multiple superstars in free agency, drafting young talent is the way to build a winner. 

"I accept that a certain amount of rebuilding needs to happen, and is appropriate," Silver added. "But you want to have continuity, you want players to feel like they're part of something". 

Silver went on to say that players don't tank, which is true. Organizations just put out talent they see as inferior, hoping they'll just be able to ride out the season and look towards the future with better odds at improving. 

Look at not only the Sixers, but also what they're building in Minnesota. Heck, the Warriors (before signing Kevin Durant) built a championship team through the draft. 

Creating a winner takes years, and the way to preserve it is with young talent through the draft, which is something the Wizards now have locked up as well. 

As for the future of "The Process" and "tanking", there's really only so much the NBA can do to avoid it. 

RELATED: 2017-18 NBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR RANKINGS

 

 

 

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John Wall says Wizards will do less talking this year, but could be best team he's played on

John Wall says Wizards will do less talking this year, but could be best team he's played on

The Wizards in recent years have made a habit of trying to speak things into existence and then not having them actually come into existence. They have talked the talk and then sometimes haven't walked the walk.

A few instances come to mind, including Bradley Beal saying of the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers that "they didn't want to see us" in the playoffs. Beal also said in November that the Washington was the best team in the East, just hours before James scored 57 points in the Wizards' building.

John Wall has made similar proclamations in the past, usually about himself, including how he is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference. Now, these statements were all relatively normal for professional athletes who pride themselves in always feeling like they are the best player on the floor or the field. It's part of the mindset that makes them who they are.

But when those statements are made and then not backed up, they can be tough to defend, and especially for a Wizards team which last season seemed to overlook the lesser teams and suffered a down year because of it.

Wall insists all that is about to change. In his 1-on-1 interview with Chris Miller on our Wizards Tipoff podcast, Wall said the message this year will be much different, much more muted than it has been in the past.

"We want to go out with a different mindset and a different focus. We're not trying to go in and think we're a team that has already established something and got respect from people. We have to earn that respect and that means going out and competing every night against the good teams or the bad teams," he said.

That doesn't mean Wall isn't confident. His belief in himself hasn't wavered and, in fact, he may believe in his team more now than ever. That's because he is happy with the offseason the front office has produced.

They signed Dwight Howard and Jeff Green in free agency, traded for Austin Rivers and drafted Troy Brown, Jr. in the first round. All should help the Wizards improve between Howard representing an upgrade at starting center and the others providing much-needed depth.

When Wall was asked by Chris if this is the most complete team he has played with in Washington, Wall left no doubts.

"Yeah, for sure. I definitely think so," he said. "I think it gives us the opportunity where we don't have to play as many minutes. That's the key. At the end of the year, you kind of fall short because you're fatigued. Nobody uses that as an excuse. You play and try to get into the best shape possible. But if you're playing 24 minutes, the whole half, and then 24 minutes and the whole half, you kind of get tired at some point. I think those guys can take a little of the burden and pressure off of us at times."

Listen to Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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Austin Rivers believes he can help the Wizards on defense as much as anything

Austin Rivers believes he can help the Wizards on defense as much as anything

When asked at his introductory press conference for how he will fit on the Wizards' roster from a basketball perspective, guard Austin Rivers didn't first cite his three-point shooting, his ability to affect games scoring off the bench or his speed to run the floor with John Wall and Bradley Beal. The first thing he point to was his defense.

That may have surprised some people out there as Rivers has long been known for his scoring ability and not so much his skills on the other end. It's not that he can't play defense, it's just that most of the highlights he's produced over the years have been due to his high-flying finishes at the rim and wicked pull-up jumper from three-point range.

Defense, though, is something Rivers takes pride in and he hopes to continue developing as a defender in Washington.

"With how much Brad and John have to do every night, for them to not have to always guard the best guard on the other team, that's something I can come in here and do. Try to bring that competitive spirit and be one of the defenders on the team," Rivers said.

Rivers' defensive ability has produced some controversy among Wizards fans and media members on social media. Some insist he does not bring value on that end of the floor, while some numbers suggest he does have some defensive potential.

Last season, Rivers averaged a career-high 1.2 steals per game. He was tied for fifth on the Clippers in defensive win shares.

However, his 113 defensive rating was his worst since 2013-14. It was an outlier on the Clippers and not in the good way. He also ranked nowhere near the top of the league in deflections or contested three-point shots, two hustle stats that guys like Wall and Beal fair well in.

Rivers points to two attributes that he believes make him a strong perimeter defender. One is his versatility and the other you could call scrappiness.

"On defense [the Wizards] can switch one through three or one through four. I think that gives us a lot of dangerous options," he said.

As for his scrappiness, Rivers says it comes from the early days of his career.

"I had to figure out ways to be effective without [a jumpshot] and that's how I became a defender. I guess everything happens for a reason, right? I'm happy I did have those early career struggles because it made me find a side of me that I didn't do [early on]. Because I promise you I didn't play any defense at Duke," he said.

The last line drew laughter from those gathered at his introductory press conference. Rivers insists that he now takes that end of the floor very seriously. The Wizards certainly hope he can back up his words.

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