The NBA is known for having the biggest drama queens in professional sports. Thus, it only makes sense that there would be an issue with players taking games off for rest, a situation that only supports the idea of these guys being the biggest babies.
The NBA plays an 82-game season, including many back-to-back games in different cities, which can make players exhausted, but players should be able to deal with it. That’s why they make the big bucks, right? Of course, there is the argument that it should not be a big deal if a player sits out against a team like the Sixers because they are a bad team and the game would not be nationally televised. However, I do not agree with that at all; fans still go to these games expecting to see the star players… well, play.
In fact, before Kobe Bryant retired I would go to Sixers games when he was in town because he was my favorite player, and I couldn’t travel anywhere else to see him play. If I went to a game and saw him sitting out because of anything, especially for rest, I would have been furious.
On March 11, the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs played in a highly anticipated matchup of the top two seeds in the Western Conference. Sadly, the game was missing almost all of the star players. The Warriors sat 3 starters for rest and forward Kevin Durant for an injury. In same game, Spurs forwards Kawhi Leonard and Lamarcus Aldridge were out due to injury. So now a highly anticipated game between two heavyweights with lots of star power on both sides was reduced to a game with players who fans may not be familiar with or care to see.
In the past the NBA has taken action to stop this problem; previous commissioner David Stern fined the Spurs $250,000 in 2012 for resting four key players in a nationally televised game. New commissioner Adam Silver hasn’t ignored the problem, and seems to be looking for a solution without penalizing teams. “As tough as it is on our fans to miss one of their favorite players for a game, it’s far better than having them get injured and be out for long periods of time,” Silver said. “So, we’re always still looking to strike that right balance.”
It seems like the only solution to the problem of players taking games off for rest other than fining teams would be shortening the NBA season from 82 games to 60 or 70 games. However, this is very unlikely because a shorter season means less money for the players, teams, and the league. Therefore, it is likely that nothing will never happen. Until the league finds a solution, the problem will get worse and fans will get fed up with not seeing their favorite players on the court.
Kristian Rhim (276)