Silver doesn't think Sixers are tanking

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before the skills competition at the NBA All Star basketball weekend, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in New Orleans. (Bill Haber/AP)

NEW ORLEANS -- By now, most NBA fans know the 76ers are among several teams sacrificing wins, with subpar rosters, in pursuit of top lottery picks.

As a result, new NBA commissioner Adam Silver was asked to define tanking and whether he thought teams were doing it.

"My understanding of tanking would be losing game on purpose,” said Silver, who has been employed by the league since 1992. “And there’s absolutely no evidence that any team in the NBA has ever lost a single game, or certainly in any time that I’ve been in the league, on purpose.”

He admitted that several teams are rebuilding toward the future. Silver, however, called what they are doing is rebuilding while putting a competitive product on the court.

 “If there was any indication whatsoever that players or coaches were not doing their absolute most to win a game, we would be all over that,” he said. “But I don’t believe for a second that’s going on.”

 Follow and contact Inquirer 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers