The Cavs visited the Clippers in L.A. on Saturday night in a primetime game on ABC, meaning Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Mike Breen were on the call. For Cleveland, it was the first game of the L.A. double, with the Lakers coming up tomorrow on a back-to-back, and so they decided Saturday would be a good night for the stars to rest as they look to remain healthy and fresh heading into the playoffs.
That means for the second straight Saturday night ABC game the best players have been resting, as the Warriors and Spurs both sent out the C-squads for last week’s “battle” in San Antonio. Never one to hide his feelings, Jeff Van Gundy launched into a tirade before the game even started.
Mike Breen outlined the reasoning behind resting players and the medical research that says players need rest especially late in the year and on back-to-backs, to which Mark Jackson said he understood protecting the players but asked “who will protect the fans” from resting players, like it was an ASPCA commercial with a Sarah McLaughlin playing in the background.
Jackson was the opening act in the outrage concert that was ESPN’s opening segment, as Jeff Van Gundy took the stage and said it was a “prosecutable offense” (!!!) what was happening to NBA fans.
This is just amazing stuff from JVG, who has also said this season that the NBA should just get rid of the All-Star Game because it’s not competitive anymore. Van Gundy isn’t the only one upset. Plenty of fans watching on TV tweeted their frustration, and I’m sure there were lots of Cavs fans in attendance in Los Angeles that were not pleased to be watching a LeBron-less, Kyrie-less, Love-less Cleveland squad on Saturday night.
Even Shannon Sharpe was mad that he got tickets to the game and LeBron wouldn’t be playing.
The best part is that Sharpe got the tickets for free (Price: $VIP) and is acting like he’s being dragged to this trash basketball game to get his money’s worth. No one is arguing that the game suffered from the players’ absence (a 16-14 first quarter score is a great representation of how awful the game was), but I’m not sure if Sharpe should be the voice of the people in this scenario. I can guarantee this will be the No. 1 topic on his television show with Skip Bayless on Monday, though.
I’m pretty much over the NBA player resting debate. Fans are understandably upset about the resting, but until back-to-backs are no longer a thing, this will continue. And it’s understandable. The best part is, the same people that yelled at the Warriors last year for chasing the regular season win total record and will tell you 73 wins means nothing without the ring are probably the same ones that are mad about players getting rested.
You can’t have it both ways, either celebrate regular season accomplishments and insist players play all 82 if healthy or count the ringzzz and shut up about resting.