Last season the Philadelphia 76ers tied the NBA record for the longest losing streak, when they dropped 26 consecutive games between January and March.
During that sorry campaign accusations of tanking, where a team deliberately looses in order to secure themselves a better place in the draft, were levelled.
On November 13 the 76ers’ star man, Michael Carter-Williams, wrote a first-person diatribe against the theory that he and his professional-athlete teammates were knowingly playing below their best to read it click here.
That evening, without the injured point guard, Philadelphia lost by 53 points to the Dallas Mavericks, handing the Texas franchise their largest victory in their history and the sorry 76ers their eighth loss of the season.
Carter-Williams and co are now the only winless side left in the NBA, they score the fewest points per game and allow the third-most. They were the lowest-spending franchise in the off-season by a cool $20m and they clearly want another high draft pick when 2014/15 is in the books.
Their season looks doomed even at this early stage and they’re 1/50 to surrender to the Houston Rockets on home soil this evening.
If you take Carter-Williams at his word, and there is no evidence to say you shouldn’t, the 76ers are trying to win and just can’t.
Their roster is young – they only have two players in their 16-man squad is over the age of 26 – and their coach has no NBA sideline experience as the man in charge beyond last season’s 19-win abomination.
Maybe tanking isn’t such a bad idea after all?