By Ken Reed
Playoff spots were on the line last night in the NBA, the final night of the regular season. But the NBA and a few of its franchises made a mockery of the playoff race.
After a terrible start to the season, the Miami Heat made a remarkable run down the stretch in a quest to land a playoff berth. On the last night of the season, they needed to beat Washington and have the Chicago Bulls or Indiana Pacers lose to get in. The Heat took care of business by winning its game against Washington but Chicago and Indiana also won, so the Heat are out of the playoffs.
Fair enough, until you look a little deeper and see that both Chicago’s and Indiana’s opponents rested numerous players, basically giving the games away. The Bulls played the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets long ago were eliminated from the playoffs and couldn’t improve their draft position by tanking the game with Chicago. Still, despite the game against the Bulls having playoff implications for Chicago and Miami, the Nets decided to not try. They rested six players, including leading scorers Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez. Why did these players have to rest? Did they have early tee times the next morning?
Whazzup Brooklyn? Why did you do it? The Miami players had busted their rear ends during the second half of the season in order to still be in playoff contention on the last night of the season. But the Brooklyn coaching staff, or administration, or both decided to simply hand the last playoff spot to Chicago.
Indiana’s opponent, Atlanta, had already secured a playoff berth against Washington. So, they at least had the excuse that they were resting key players for the playoffs. Brooklyn? The Nets had absolutely no excuse for not showing up against Chicago.
NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, has a major integrity problem on his hands. On any given night, he — along with league fans — don’t know which teams are going to try and which teams are going to tank.
Silver and the owners better fix this problem over the summer before the NBA moves any closer to professional wrestling on the integrity metric.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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