Commissioner Adam Silver plans to crack down on NBA teams resting players.
According to ESPN NBA Senior Writer Ramona Shelburne, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver plans to address the “significant issue” of teams resting players. Silver has informed all teams that this issue will be a top priority in the NBA Board of Governors meeting on April 6th in New York. He also made it clear that teams that don’t abide by the league’s rules, there will be “significant penalties.”
The main team that have made this an ongoing issue at least as of late has been the Cleveland Cavaliers. A couple days ago, the Cavaliers rested their big three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love against the Los Angeles Clippers. Both the general manager David Griffin and franchise player James have made it known that some players indeed need the rest. Especially, if in the long run the goal is a Championship. James, recently made the following statement that has caused quite a stir of controversy:
“I don’t think the NBA can do anything about it,” James said. “At the end of the day, it sucks at times where certain guys have to rest, but certain guys need rest. And it’s a long, strenuous season and the NBA does a great job of putting the schedule together as best as they can. You’re going to have back-to-backs. You’re going to have certain games where certain things fall on certain nights, but a coach’s job is to figure out a way for their team to compete for a championship, not compete for a game.”
From someone who attends multiple games throughout a season, it is unfortunate when the stars sit out that game we decide to attend. Two seasons ago, I attended a Golden State Warriors vs. Indiana Pacers game at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. It was Stephen Curry’s first MVP season, and he played 81 games. The one game he rested was the game I decided to attend. So, I can somewhat relate to some of the outrage fans express when they pay big money to see these guys to play.
Unfortunately, James has a point. There isn’t a whole lot the NBA can do about it as long as there are so many back-to-back’s, and a strenuous 82-game season. Something that Silver should and most likely will crack down on is the owners giving a reasonable notice prior to resting players. When something like this is happening, the league is losing fans every single time a story about a team resting players surfaces.
Keep in mind, in some cases, some players may actually be injured/hurt and quite simply need the night off. It’s easy for us as outsiders to criticize these players when we aren’t partaking in the activity they are.
Then, you have former players from past eras weighing on this issue as well. Most recently, former Utah Jazz star Karl Malone weighed in on NBA players resting with ESPN’s Sage Steele:
(1/2) HOF'er Karl Malone: "if you don't have at least 10 yrs experience, get your a** playing. It's not work, it's called playing. Besides..
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) March 19, 2017
Obviously, the perception of the NBA in that particular era was tougher. One could argue they game is much more fast paced today than ever. Which, it doesn’t take a genius to make the inference that could be a reason for the recent need for rest for so many of our stars today.
In no way am I making excuses for these guys. I understand there are some people that may have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see these stars play. So, if the star they decide to go watch that day misses what do they get in return? There should be some sort of agreement between the NBA owners/coaches and Silver for some sort of reciprocation.
In contrast, there really is no easy solution for this issue. The biggest problem is it doesn’t only affect the fans attending the games, but is some cases television viewers as well. If you’re truly a fan of the player, then you should also consider the fact, that initial player could be resting to prevent injury. If they’re truly fatigued and play to satisfy the fans and sustain a serious injury — then what? It’s all about finding the correct balance and Silver will help address that in the upcoming weeks.
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