NBA Owners Reportedly Working To Approve Rules Regarding Resting Healthy Players
NBA team owners are "expected to approve player-resting rules in September designed to cut back on teams benching healthy players for regular-season games," according to a source cited by Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. The rules will be "in place by the start" of the '17-18 season, and there will be "consequences for teams that do not adhere to them." It is a "move that should please fans and the league’s business partners." It would not be a surprise if "there is a rule against resting healthy players for marquee national TV games" (USA TODAY, 8/11). In San Jose, Daniel Mano noted the practice of "sitting stars" has been around since Spurs coach Gregg Popovich "sent four stars home ... for more rest rather than play a game on TNT" in '12. Then-commissioner David Stern "fined San Antonio $250,000 for what he called 'a disservice to the league and our fans.'" The issue "cropped up again, and seemed to gain steam, this past March," when the Warriors and Cavaliers during consecutive nationally televised games each "decided to rest some stars" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/11). However, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Ray Ratto said when Popovich or Warriors coach Steve Kerr "is confronted by a situation like that, they're going to sit the guys they want to sit and they're going to say, ‘Go ahead and fine us.’” Ratto: “The only way this works is if you suspend the players -- who didn't do anything wrong -- because that's the only way you hurt a team that does this." NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole: "For national TV games, which are the showcase games, you make sure that you don't have a team coming in at four in the morning. You do that, you're halfway there” (“The Happy Hour,” NBC Sports Bay Area, 8/10).