NBA commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to all 30 NBA teams Monday, saying that resting star players has “become an extremely significant issue for our league.”
There are two sides to every coin, and this coin is no different. There are compelling arguments to support players resting, and there are compelling arguments to oppose it.
But one thing is certain.
“It’s not an epidemic,” Bleacher Report NBA writer Howard Beck said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “We don’t have 30 teams doing this. There’s a risk of this thing now being overblown, but it is serious enough that the league is trying to find a new solution here. Adam Silver’s philosophy up until now – and I think it was an intellectually defensible one – is it’s not the league’s place to tell teams, GMs, coaches, medical staffs, players when and how to to play. We don’t tell you how to set up your rotation or how many minutes a guy should play or when they need a night off or how to handle injuries or fatigue. And there is more and more sport science (used) by teams and studies that indicate that, yes, fatigue leads to injury. It increases the risk of injury. So back-to-backs become potentially perilous and you’re trying to extend guys’ careers and you’re trying to keep guys fresh for the playoffs. All of that is rational.”
But it’s a problem when, for example, the Warriors sit Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala for a high-profile matchup with the Spurs, especially when Golden State (57-14) and San Antonio (54-16) have the best records in basketball.
Fans don’t like that. Neither do TV partners.
“So now it’s affecting your broadcast partners, who are paying you $24 billion over nine years,” Beck said. “Now all of a sudden it’s a little bit of a concern because the Warriors rested all of their stars and the Cavs rested all of their stars. I know there were some minor injuries involved in some cases, but you’re pulling the rug out from under the broadcast, obviously you’re upsetting fans, there’s a backlash here from those who paid a lot of money to go see those games in person, and you’re taking drama away from what were setting up as really critical late-season games, especially that Warriors/Spurs game. So at that point, Adam Silver (changed course). They have to come up with something. The owners are meeting here in New York in a couple of weeks. They’re going to be addressing this. I don’t know what the solution is.”