Bryan Colangelo has admitted to tanking.
The former Toronto Raptors general manager spoke to the MIT Sports Analytics Conference in Toronto on Friday where he said that he intended for the Raptors to finish as close to the Eastern Conference basement as possible in the lockout shortened 2011-12 season in hope of winning the NBA Draft lottery.
"Admittedly, I will say, I tried to tank a couple years ago," said Colangelo to the conference. "And I didn't come out and say, 'Coach (Dwane Casey), you've got to lose games.' I never said that. I wanted to have him establish a winning tradition and a culture and all of that, but I wanted to do it in the framework of playing and developing young players, and with that comes losing. There's just no way to avoid that, but I never once said, 'You've got to lose this game.'"
The Raptors finished the 2011-12 season 23-43, good for 11th in the Eastern Conference, 12 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for the final playoff spot in the East, and the eighth-worst record in the NBA. The team neither rose, nor fell in the lottery, receiving the eighth-overall pick in the 2012 draft where they selected Terrence Ross out of the University of Washington.
The 2007 NBA Executive of the Year (with the Phoenix Suns) was speaking on a proposal currently in front of the NBA Board of Governors which would see the draft lottery and any incentive to bottom out eliminated.
Colangelo was relieved of his general manager position last May in favour of Masai Ujiri and eventually resigned his post as Raptors president the following month.