For the past several NBA seasons there has been a growing trend that has been upsetting for the fans. Resting players.
This trend started a few seasons back when coach Greg Popovich decided to start resting his aging veterans Tim Duncan & Manu Ginobili. This angered the league as coach Popovich would rest these players (who also happen to be global stars of the sport) on nationally televised games. We all brushed it off as coach Pop doing whatever he wants but little did we know teams and stars around the league would take note of that move, & began implementing it themselves.
This is not to knock any coaches who use this strategy. We understand the reasons for it. (Preserving your stars health for the playoffs) However it is becoming somewhat of a diss to the fans who dish out their hard earned money to watch the stars of their favorite team play. Whether it be season ticket holders or the waiter who only goes to a couple games a year, they pay to see the stars like Lebron play. Not bench warmers and rookies the average fan has never heard of…No offense to James Jones or Key Felder.
Resting Issues for fans
Let’s be clear if this was the end of the season final game or 2 of the regular season we understand this may happen. Playoffs around the corner don’t want anybody to tweak anything. But “nah” teams are resting players in December. Really. Barely a quarter into the season there is no justification for this. Playoff spots haven’t been clinched so why rob the fans who are watching at home or in the arena from seeing the players they probably paid some coin to see play. Or how about resting players who aren’t even sniffing 30 years old *Cough Kyrie Cough*
I think the biggest disrespect from teams doing this is that they are resting their stars for road games. Away fans only get 1 or 2 opportunities to see these special players perform. Not to mention ticket prices go up tremendously when games vs teams like the Cavs & Warriors come into town. For the coach to rest them and pretty much finesse (rob) the fans of what they paid for. Ultimate disrespect.
This is not an issue for any other sport outside of the NBA. NHL players also play 82 games and they are in a contact sport, but they aren’t doing this. Excluding pitchers this is not a trend in the MLB. NFL would never even consider this. So why is it okay for the NBA? A league that arguably benefits the most off of their stars being seen and known globally.
NFL players know they have to perform or risk getting replaced or getting cut and losing a large amount of money. Maybe that is the problem with the NBA. Contracts are guaranteed, & with less than average players taking in $10 million annually, players feel like psssh I got my money. I’m bless.
The NBA needs to step in and do something to rectify this from continuing. Maybe fining teams could go along way. Or maybe fans should start asking for refunds. Maybe then it’ll make teams think twice about resting.