LeBron James, Gregg Popovich Weigh In On NBA Resting Players, Is Better Scheduling The Answer To The Problem?
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LeBron James mocked the league’s grievance with teams resting players by having coffee while on the Cleveland Cavalier bench. (Photo : YouTube Screencap)
The matter of resting players in the NBA has become a hot topic of late, particularly following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ decision to site LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for a nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Clippers. NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a pointed memo to try and address the situation; James thinks that resting players is only an issue; while San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich understands both sides. But could the matter be more effectively addressed by fixing the league’s schedule?
Part of the league’s concern with teams resting players, particularly for nationally televised games is that there is a lot of money involved with TV rights, ticket-paying fans and advertisers to be considered. And if LeBron James, Steph Curry or any of the NBA’s marquee names sit out a game, all of the fore mentioned are affected. But as pointed out by NBC Sports, perhaps the league can do a better job of scheduling the games, so star players can play during marquee games.
As noted by the article, “If the league wants to promote the Warriors at the Spurs for a big Saturday night broadcast, then don’t have it be the Warriors’ eighth game in 13 nights with a couple of cross-country flights thrown in.” It was referring to the Golden State Warriors’ decision to sit out their key players during a recent game against the Spurs. As a note, the Warriors fly back to San Antonio next week – again during the second night of a back-to-back (with a game against the Houston Rockets the night before).
As pointed out by ESPN, LeBron James has played in 63 of the 69 Cleveland Cavalier games this season, so it’s not like it has become a major issue with the league’s best player missing a ton of games. Gregg Popovich says that he believes his system of regularly resting players has added years to his players’ careers. So maybe instead of penalizing teams for resting players during nationally televised games, the league should look at making sure players have no reasons to rest for such.
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