SBD/April 2, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA's Strategic Resting Rules Called Into Question After Heat Aren't Fined

Heat stars sat out Sunday's game against the Spurs, without penalty
The Heat sat F LeBron James and Gs Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers in Sunday's game against the Spurs, and “nobody is naive enough to think there was no message or intent behind Miami's decision to return the favor” after the Spurs sat their star players for a November game in Miami, according to Ken Berger of CBSSPORTS.com. The NBA fined the Spurs for sitting C Tim Duncan and Gs Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green, but this time “at least the Heat were smart enough to go through the motions and at least pretend that James, Wade and Chalmers might've been able to play in the game since they were actually in the same zip code where it was being played.” The league “won't fine” the Heat because "it was not" the same thing. Berger wrote, “Strategic resting is within the discretion of the teams, and isn't against the rules -- whatever the rules are.” The Heat in the league's judgment “did not run afoul of the ‘rules,’ chiefly because they were nice enough to play along.” As soon as it was determined that James, Wade and Chalmers would not play, it was "communicated through the proper channels.” Still, none of the evidence “alters the appearance of a double standard, a perception that the rules aren't the same for everyone and aren't applied evenly from one circumstance to the next.” The bigger problem is that “nobody seems to know what this rule supposedly reviewed with the Board of Governors in April 2010 is all about, or how it is enforced.” Berger: "It's time for this charade to stop, and it's time for the NBA to have a clearly communicated and understood policy about injury reporting and the so-called 'strategic resting of particular players'" (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/1).
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