NBA Memo To Teams Seeks To Clarify Use Of "Load Management"
The NBA earlier this month sent a memo to teams which "outlined new guidelines for injury reporting" in an attempt to address how teams "use 'load management' as a designation," according to Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. The NBA "sought to eliminate" confusion over whether a player was injured or just resting. Thus, load management is "now rest." That term will "mean a healthy player is taking the night off," and if skipping that particular game "violates the league's resting policy, that player's team will be penalized." The NBA's resting policy "prohibits teams from sitting healthy players in 'high-profile' nationally televised games." It also "requires teams rest players at home absent some 'unusual circumstances,'" the idea being that home fans "get many chances to see their teams' stars." The league also has "instructed teams not to rest multiple healthy players in the same game, barring those same 'unusual circumstances.'" NBA President of League Operations Byron Spruell and sources said that for any injury, the NBA "requires that teams submit documentary proof into a league-supervised portal." Lowe noted those documents "can and should include official reports from examinations by trainers and team doctors, medical imaging and other documents, should the league request them." Sources said that the league also has "allowed for some wiggle room on what constitutes a 'high-profile' national TV game." As such, a game on NBA TV "might not be the same as a game on ESPN or TNT" (ESPN.com, 11/26).