I am reminded of a line that actor James Gammon said in the movie Major League. The scene is his character, manager Lou Brown whining to the Cleveland Indians owner about not having proper equipment to keep his players 100 percent and saying even the best players get wear and tear. That popped into my head following another NBA resting on national television. Once again, the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to rest it's main three. It's LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin and Love. Facing the Los Angeles Clippers, they got blown out, losing by 30 points.
Just like other times, complaints have been made. Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone and Clippers coach Doc Rivers have chimed in on it and believe this shouldn't be happening even though he has done it to give some of his best players rest. It all goes back to when San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich did that on a televised game. It did not sit well with then NBA commissioner David Stern. That and getting fined quite a bit of money. Since then, it has happened a number of times with various teams. Golden State, Miami, and several others. Ultimately, commissioner Adam Silver has to do something before things get worse.
Rivers suggested that the league try to do something with back to back games, which is what the Cavaliers had facing the Lakers on Sunday night after the Clippers. That being said, I'm not sure if that will fix the problem. If it was one or two of these guys, that would be understandable. People pay for expensive tickets to watch them or settle for a game on ABC, ESPN, or TNT to see their favorite team squabble with their opponent. That's where leagues get their money and their ratings. You want to see James play. You want to see Irving or Klay Thompson or Russell Westbrook or whatever big star on those nights. Unfortunately, the best teams are usually the ones getting the night games on those networks. I would say at least 10 to 12 teams are going to regularly be seen with a few stragglers if they are in contention for a spot in the playoffs.
I think we're in a new era of sports where starting in every game is pretty much forgotten in the four major sports except for the NFL with some quarterbacks being the Cal Ripken's of their sport. They have the right to complain, but people need to realize basketball is a lot more physically demanding than you think. One wrong move and you can possibly twist an ankle or have a severe injury. The NHL may start a few weeks earlier than the NBA, but it's roughly the same scheduling period. Wear and tear gets the best of all the players. Even the goalies. By the end of a game, they're hoping to get into an ice tub or try to relieve any pain from getting checked into the walls. Major League Baseball is trying to give teams more days off as they go on with their 162 game schedule. Wear and tear and overuse of players is pretty common before a few days of rest are given before getting back to their duties.
I'm not sure if there is a viable solution that can be fixed. Maybe if the NBA could lessen their focus on Cleveland, San Antonio, and a few others for ABC and TNT games, then there wouldn't be all his hoopla on resting players. There's no easy suggestion and solution to this whole thing. You got the fans on one side and the players on the other. One would hope of a way to listen to the fans and figure a way to show it to the players so that both sides can be happy without any aggravation.
Long story short, it's going to take some time. Not to mention some of the big name players are in the late stretches of their careers. Adam Silver has to be very careful with how he plans it out if he is involved.
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