NBA Puts Foot Down On Resting Players
For the second straight week, the primetime game on ABC did not future all of the star players. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love all rested against Los Angeles Clippers. The week before, Spurs-Warriors saw a gaggle full of NBA players take a seat for the primetime game. This led Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, to send a memo urging teams to talk with the NBA before resting their players. This is a tricky tight rope, and Silver knows there are ways to solve this problem yet the question will he if it loses the owners’ money?
Silver is a players commissioner and the only one at that. He’s always seen in a respected light by the players versus what we see with Roger Gooddell or others. That said, he needs to solve the resting problem as it’s reached a peak. NBA says next year’s schedule will be moved up, and they’ll avoid back-to-back much more often compared to this season. That should help with resting players, but the 82 game season is too long even if they get rid of preseason games. Silver knows the only way to truly cure resting players is shorten the season by six to eight games. That probably gets rid of back-to-backs and gives players the opportunity to rest.
If anything, ABC has to be freaking out about their primetime Saturday night games being complete duds. That’s a bad look for the league when casual fans turn to the game and see it’s a blowout every Saturday. I can’t remember the last primetime Saturday game I had vested interest in. League also might want to look at other teams who would be a fun watch on those nights like a Milwaukee, Washington, Boston, Minnesota, etc. It’s the same few teams, and those teams all use DNP-rest to get ready for the playoffs.
No primetime games this weekend, rather, an afternoon tilt between James Harden-Russell Westbrook on Sunday that should be special.