Could Sixers' rebuild cause NBA rule changes?


If you look up the definition of competition you will read the following: The act or process of trying to get or win something (such as a prize or a higher level of success) that someone else is also trying to get or win.

However, what is it called when the act or process of trying to win has realistically little to no chance of happening?

The Sixers are on a record-tying 26-game losing streak, the longest ever in all of professional sports.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown is on record as saying it will take an upset for his current roster to beat any of the team's remaining 10 opponents. A big reason for that is the team that had put together 15 wins was broken down even more at the trade deadline when key pieces were shipped away.

“We started the season at X and then on trade deadline night we went to Y. We acquired draft picks, we acquired future young talent, but we took a further step toward the direction of a rebuild,” Brown said recently. “We are trying to get youth and confirm that we are developing, so to find ourselves at this stage and for it to be a shock to others is surprising to me.”

While the Sixers are operating as an individual franchise, they still are a part of the overall NBA enterprise. How do the other NBA teams feel about a roster that has had 22 players --including eight from the D-League -- play regular minutes at some point during this season and therefore drag down a product being promoted as the best basketball players in the world?

There will likely be a discussion about that topic this offseason because there is precedent in the NBA about keeping a level playing field.

In December 2011, then-NBA commissioner David Stern vetoed a trade that would have sent Chris Paul from New Orleans to the Los Angeles Lakers. Soon after, Paul was shipped to the Los Angeles Clippers instead.

The commissioner was said to be looking out for what was in the best interest of a 30-team league made up of both small and big markets. Stern did not want small-market superstars jetting off to only play in big markets.

In hindsight, he was protecting the competitive nature of his product.

In December of 2012, Stern fined the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 for sending four players home prior to a nationally-televised game against the Miami Heat. The league said in a statement after the fine that the Spurs' actions "were in violation of a league policy, reviewed with the NBA Board of Governors in April 2010, against resting players in a manner contrary to the best interest of the NBA."

The NBA has to look at the product the Sixers are putting on the floor every night and rethink its rules to make sure that the only thing being rewarded is winning at all costs.

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