NEW YORK — The NBA has stopped tap-dancing around the scourge that was ripping away at its simplest element, addressing load management in a way that was both necessary and almost embarrassing.
There was already a Player Resting Policy, but its new and improved Player Participation Policy aims directly at stars who sit during nationally televised games. It doesn’t demand All-Star and All-NBA players eschew injuries to go out and perform for the betterment of television, but it makes it harder for marquee players to find reasons to sit.
This is in addition to the NBA schedule, which limits back-to-backs and tries not to put teams in that predicament with national TV games on the back-end.
Either way, it’s a significant step, even if it won’t eliminate load management completely, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver was clear this policy doesn’t want unhealthy, injured players going on the floor.
“I mean, this is an acknowledgment that it’s gotten away from us a bit,” Silver said following the Board of Governors meeting, where the motion was passed. “Particularly, I think when you see young, healthy players who are resting, and it becomes maybe even more a notion of stature around the league.”
The last part is telling — that it almost feels cooler to sit than to sweat.
The responsible party won’t truly step forward. The players will say it’s the teams, that they have to be pulled off the floor because the most natural thing for them is to play and perform.
The teams will point to the science, citing the players need rest based on the minutes and often-rigorous travel that can leave bodies weary. At least, that’s what the media was always told when players would sit — particularly in places where a star would visit only once through the year and everyone would fold their hands, bury their heads and behave as if powerless.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr actually apologized to New Orleans fans last November when sitting Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins, due to rest.
Because of the science.
And he even called for a shorter season, as if that would rectify matters.
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Author : Yahoo Sports
Publish date : 2023-09-13 23:56:16
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