Resting players has been a big topic of contention for the NBA. Lebron James has already missed 6 games this season. Tyronn Lue decided to sit out all of his starters versus the Los Angeles Clippers and that drew an uproar. Lebron has come out in the support of resting players in the NBA. LBJ cited Gregg Popovich as the architect of resting players and keeping players fresh. James makes the case that Gregg would not have 5 Championships without resting players.
Lebron James Argument Falls Short
Lebron has a great point it is great to rest players to keep them fresh. However, Lebron is comparing him resting in his prime versus aging veterans like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. Popovich was resting playes who were 34 years of age and up.
People can respect a 36 year old needing rest over a 32 year old player or 25 year old in their prime. Lebron is literally comparing apples to oranges. Players get paid to play. One can never defend a player in his prime resting unless it is the final couple games of the season or they are injured.
Adam Silver Intervenes
Commissioner Silver has sent a memo out to all the teams regarding his rest issue. Adam silver has to weather the storm because fans are out for blood. NBA Fans have highlighted how the players fail to take the regular season serious.
Fans are threatening to abandon watching regular season games altogether which will hurt the overall brand of the NBA. Adam Silver’s memo looks to make little change as the players are gaining more power every CBA. Eventually players may even negotiate for a rest clause in their contracts.
What is the Solution Rest or Play?
The NBA has to make their players play as many games as possible. Professional athlete’s that came before these guys today played many games for less pay. NBA players today are disrespecting their predecessors where their working conditions are the best they have ever been.
Karl Malone made a great point where NBA players want rest but firefighters and police men do not have that same luxury. Putting that in perspective most people cannot afford to take days off like these NBA players. Teams can do other things to limit the wear and tear on players.
Coaches can limit practice time or shorten practice. Adam Silver can expand teams rosters to 17 players to give players a rest. The Commissioner can shorten the preseason games. The NBA schedule makers can make less back to backs in the schedule or less cross country trips. There are a lot more solutions then benching an entire starting 5.