Resting superstars is an objectively good strategic move by NBA teams. If the ultimate goal for every NBA team is to win a championship, it makes sense that coaches will want to make sure that their players are as close to 100 percent as possible by the time the postseason comes around.
Sure, fans who buy tickets to random games in February or March may not be ecstatic. But I am willing to bet that most people who fall into that category will not care that LeBron James or Stephen Curry rested against the Grizzlies on a Wednesday night during a road back-to-back if their team wins a ring.
This strategy has been in the news a lot lately, and it has taken on a number of detractors. When something like this happens, all eyes go to the commissioner. As it turns out, Adam Silver isn’t a fan of the practice, either, and he reportedly told this to owners in a memo. According to ESPN, Silver is not afraid to bring the hammer down if this practice continues.
In the memo, Silver informed teams that the issue will be a prime topic of discussion at the next NBA Board of Governors meeting April 6 in New York and warned of ”significant penalties” for teams that don’t abide by the league’s standing rules for providing ”notice to the league office, their opponent, and the media immediately upon a determination that a player will not participate in a game due to rest.
He states that it is unacceptable for owners to be uninvolved or defer decision-making on this topic to others in their organizations, who may not have the same awareness of the impact these decisions can have on “fans and business partners,” the reputation of the league and “perception of our game.”