For over the course of the past couple of months, the NBA has been dealing with players resting games, especially key nationally televised games. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who is no stranger to this topic, finally gave his thoughts on the issue.
Just recently, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent out a memo to NBA owners and told them that it is now beginning to become an issue.
Per Michael C. Wright of ESPN, Popovich does not want the owners to get in the way of that of a GM or a coach.
“I think keeping owners informed about what’s going on is mandatory, and having input is fine,” Popovich said. “But I think there has to be an understanding that coaches and GMs have brains also, and we know who pays the bills. It’s a slippery slope, I think if owners got too involved in that process. That trust relationship in those three areas is really important in creating a culture and making something that can be long-lasting. I’ve been here over 20 years. I think that says it all. They just let us do our jobs. We keep them informed as we should. And the chips fall where they may. If we’re not successful, I’m sure we’ll be gone just like anybody’s gone if things don’t work out well.”
Long story short, Popovich wants the owners to handle what is their side of the team, and let the coaches and GMs handle the rest. The coaches and GMs are the basketball minds.
Popovich also pointed out that key players should rest during home games, instead of away.
“The one comment that I’ve heard that makes a lot of sense, is that if you’re gonna rest somebody, if you can do it at home, then you should. Like, we’re resting Danny Green tonight,” Popovich said. “Danny Green is not LeBron James, but if we rested Kawhi Leonard, if there’s a way we could do it at home, that seems like a logical thing to me; a reasonable thing that a coach or GM should think about, rather [than] that one time somebody’s gonna watch him play someplace else, if you can do it. Sometimes the schedule dictates differently. But that makes sense to me. So I think there can be areas like that where we come together and try to make everybody happy. But that’s why no basic rule has been written, so to speak. Because you can’t write a rule that covers everything. It’s complicated … kind of like health care.”
Popovich did note that he would be eager to work with the league to come up with a proper solution.