Amidst all the discussions involving tanking during this season for the stacked 2014 NBA draft class, a former 2-time NBA Executive of the year came out and admitted that he had attempted to tank during his recent tenure. Former Toronto Raptors’ general manager Bryan Colangelo spoke at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on a basketball panel and, as reported by Matt Dollinger of SI, admitted that his team, the Raptors were trying to tank during the 2011-2012 season.
“Admittedly, I will say I tried to tank a few years ago,” said Colangelo. “I didn’t come out and say, ‘Coach, you have to lose games.’ I wanted him to establish a winning tradition and culture, but I wanted him to do it in the framework of playing and developing young players.”
The Raptors finished the 2011-2012 season with a 23-43 record and tied for the 7th worst record in the lockout-shortened 66 game season. The Raptors ended up with the 8th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, and selected Washington guard Terrence Ross.
Bryan Colangelo won the NBA Executive of the year in 2005 as the GM of the Phoenix Suns, and then again 2007 in his second season as the GM of the Toronto Raptors. After the Raptors went 34-38 and missed the playoffs for the 5th straight season, Colangelo was relieved of his GM role in 2013 and ultimately stepped down as the Raptors’ President of Business Operations.