Remember when the Dallas Mavericks ended an embarrassing 2022-2023 season with Kyrie Irving and Luka Dončić don’t dress instead of trying to qualify for the Play-in tournament? The Mavericks were fined $750,000, and I think the NBA has reached a breaking point in its never-ending saga of star player rest.
The Bplace or governors will vote next week on measures that will act as a serious deterrent for resting star players. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that new guidelines would include increased fines for resting star players during nationally televised games, as well as for sitting more than one star player at the same time.
If the proposed measures are adopted, the team’s fines will start at $100,000. A second violation is $250,000, and each subsequent fine increases by $1 million. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that the definition of star player in the proposed measures is any player who has made a mistake. all-star or All-NBA team in the past three seasons.
As the NBA showed with the stiff fine it imposed on the Mavericks, the league already has the authority to discipline teams for resting players. I’m actually all for franchises being fined for resting players during nationally televised games. The games broadcast on ESPN/ABC and TNT should be the NBA’s premiere product, whether they are played in May or November.
With national television contracts set to expire in 2025, the league is showing its television partners that their pain has been noticed and real solutions are being considered. The problem, however, is that both the networks and the NBA know there is no surefire way to stop coaches and basketball personnel from refusing to put players on the floor.
As the Los Angeles Clippers Kawhi Leonard sits before a TNT game on a Tuesday in December, and they change the designation from ‘rest’ to ‘injury retention’, how is the NBA supposed to prove the team broke a rule? So if he were to play the final three games, his knee could be sore that night, meaning he might not play again until Friday.
Resting a player is technically ‘injury maintenance’. The goal is to prevent the general soreness and muscle tension that comes with playing an NBA schedule from turning into something more serious. In professional athletics, players get injured, and sometimes those injuries linger.
Maybe a player will be ready for action after the team’s second “We will reevaluate in two weeks” timetable, but that hamstring is still not perfect. It will continue to require treatment so that the player does not have to be sidelined again for another vague period. Part of that treatment may include the coaches telling the coaching staff not to use the player on consecutive nights. Who is the NBA bplace or gHarsh to tell a medically certified training staff that the team will be punished if ABC Saturday in March is the day they think is best for a player to use as a recovery day?
The NBA schedule is a bear. Feel free to complain about how much more comfortable traveling is than it used to be, as well as the advances in medicine and equipment, while berating players for not wanting to play in 82 games – especially when they have no say in it.
Players in the NBA enter the league at age 19 with more miles on their legs than Patrick Ewing did when he graduated from Georgetown in 1985. They have to cover more ground on the field than ever before, which requires a lot of speed. changing directions.
With 30 teams in the league, compared to as many as 23 when Magic Johnson first entered the NBA, traveling is a nightmare. The average number of kilometers traveled by players in these chartered planes is more than professional athletes in any other sport. This results in many nights landing in Denver early in the morning, only to have to ride another half hour by bus to get to the hotel.
The reward for playing through those 82 games is another two months of playoff basketball at an even higher intensity in an attempt to win an NBA championship. Player rest is annoying, but also unavoidable.
The grind is brutal, so sometimes a night off for players who aren’t technically “injured” is the best way to avoid players spending two weeks of games wearing a Gucci hat instead of a jersey.
It would be best if teams didn’t sit their players for nationally televised games, but when the doctors say a player needs to sit, there is no rule for the NBA.place or governors can pass to get that player to the ground.