Chatbot argues both sides of Thunder tanking issue

Rumble
Thunder mascot Rumble makes an appearance in the stands at a recent OKC game.

I’ve heard a lot recently about this Artificial Intelligence app called ChatGPT, which allegedly will answer any question and write a report or an essay on any topic.

So, I found the OpenAI page and signed up for the free chatbot service.

I figured that I owe BlogOKC readers an explanation of what ChatGPT is, so I went right to the source. Here’s what the Chatbot told me.

“ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI. It is trained on a dataset of internet text, which enables it to generate human-like responses to a wide range of text-based prompts. It can be used for tasks such as text completion, question answering, and conversation. It is based on the GPT (Generative Pre-training Transformer) architecture.”

A little long-winded, but there you have it.

So, I came up with a topic for my Chatbot to address to see how awesome it could be. Since much of my time seems to be focused on the Oklahoma City Thunder and my opposition to its tanking philosophy to rebuild for the future, I thought I would ask Chatbot for its take on the subject.

Here’s Chatbot’s take on why tanking is not the right philosophy for the Thunder:

Tanking, or losing on purpose, is a controversial strategy that can have negative consequences for teams in the NBA. For the Oklahoma City Thunder, tanking may not be the best route to rebuild their team and become a contender in the league.

“One of the main reasons why tanking is a bad route for the Thunder is that it can have a negative impact on the team’s culture and morale. When a team is losing on purpose, it can be difficult for players and coaches to stay motivated and maintain a positive attitude. This can lead to a lack of effort and poor performance on the court, which can ultimately harm the team’s development. Additionally, it can also lead to a lack of fan support and engagement with the team, making it harder for the team to attract and retain fans.

“Another reason why tanking is a bad route for the Thunder is that it doesn’t guarantee success in the future. The NBA draft is not a sure thing and even the top draft picks do not always turn into star players. Therefore, tanking may not result in the Thunder getting the high-quality players they need to become a contender in the league. Additionally, even if they do get a high draft pick, it takes time for young players to develop and it’s not guaranteed that they will become the star player the team needs.

“Additionally, tanking can also lead to a lack of stability for the team. When a team is consistently losing, it can be difficult to keep coaches, players, and management in place. This can lead to frequent changes and a lack of continuity, which can make it difficult for the team to build a sustainable winning culture.

“Furthermore, tanking can also be detrimental to the league as a whole. When teams are not trying to win, it can lead to a lack of excitement and interest in the league, which can negatively impact the league’s reputation and overall revenue.

“In conclusion, while tanking may seem like a quick fix, it can have negative consequences for teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tanking can lead to a negative team culture, lack of fan support, lack of stability, and lack of success, and it can also harm the league as a whole. Instead, the Thunder may be better served by taking a more gradual approach to rebuilding, focusing on player development and making strategic moves in the draft and free agency.”

Did you read that? “Detrimental to the league.”  Chatbot went right to the heart of why tanking doesn’t fly for me, and I hope millions of other fans.  If a lot of teams are playing to lose, the interest will wane everywhere.

I think Chatbot is dead on in its assessment of the impacts of tanking, including decrease in attendance and a loss of revenue.

All in all, I would grade this essay with an A+.

Chatbot, you’ve impressed me with this argument.

After I read this essay, I decided to have Chatbot argue the other side of the equation for balance. So I ask it to write 450 words on why tanking is good for the Thunder.

Here’s what it wrote in favor of tanking:

“Tanking, or losing on purpose, is a controversial strategy that teams in the NBA have used in order to rebuild their rosters and improve their chances of success in the long term. The Oklahoma City Thunder are currently in a position where tanking could be the best route to rebuild their team and become a contender in the league once again.

“One of the main reasons why tanking is the best route for the Thunder is that it would give them a better chance of getting a high draft pick. The NBA draft is the primary way for teams to acquire young, talented players who can help them improve in the future. The higher a team’s draft pick, the more likely they are to select a player who can make a significant impact on their team. By losing on purpose, the Thunder would increase their chances of getting a high draft pick and selecting a player who could be a cornerstone of their team for years to come.

“Another reason why tanking is the best route for the Thunder is that it would give them more financial flexibility. The NBA has a salary cap that limits how much teams can spend on player salaries. When a team is not competitive, they may not be able to attract top-tier free agents who can help them improve. By rebuilding through the draft and developing young players, the Thunder would have more financial flexibility to make moves in the future.

“In addition, tanking would give the Thunder a better chance of building a team that can contend for a championship in the future. Building a championship team is a difficult and time-consuming process that requires a combination of talented players, good coaching, and a solid organizational structure. By losing on purpose and getting high draft picks, the Thunder would be more likely to acquire the young, talented players they need to build a championship team.

“Furthermore, tanking would also give the Thunder a chance to give more playing time to their young players and prospects. This would be beneficial for their development and would also help the team to evaluate their potential.

“In conclusion, there are several reasons why tanking is the best route for the Oklahoma City Thunder to rebuild their team. The Thunder are currently not in a position to compete for a championship, and tanking would give them a better chance of getting a high draft pick, more financial flexibility, and a better chance of building a team that can contend for a championship in the future. Additionally, it would also give more playing time to the young players and prospects and help in their development. While tanking is a controversial strategy, it can be a necessary step for teams like the Thunder to rebuild and become a successful team again in the future.”

ChatBot presented some compelling arguments in favor of tanking for a rebuild.  It hit on an argument that my friend, Steve Buck, often makes in favor of tanking: player development.

Chatbot wrote: “Furthermore, tanking would also give the Thunder a chance to give more playing time to their young players and prospects.”

Again, Chatbot wrote a compelling essay without an factual errors that I can detect. I give it an A+ on this assignment, as well.

However, I’ve still not moved an inch from anti-tanking stance.

Chatbot, when I finally found you at the OpenAI web page, you surprised me with some fine writing and compelling arguments.

Well done.

Editor’s note: My first attempt to have ChatGPT to write essays for and against tanking by the Oklahoma City Thunder was done via an app I downloaded to my iPhone from the Apple App Store. I’ve since discovered that app is ChatGPT filtered through a company hoping to make money by charging a weekly fee for the free, open-source app.  So, I signed up on the OpenAI page and had the Chatbot write me new, much improved essays. 

Thunder game

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jimstafford

I'm an Oklahoma City-based freelance writer with interests in Oklahoma startup community, Apple Inc, OKC Thunder & Texas Rangers.

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