Broadcast networks are paying the NBA a lot of money to televise marquee games on Saturday night’s, but Cleveland and Golden State have joined the trend set by San Antonio, and have rested their star players during those games. The result has left fans in the arena and viewers at home feeling short-changed.
Adam Silver has seen enough, so he sent a memo to all NBA teams about resting players without providing notice to the league office. Here are more details from ESPN.
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 ”signifcant 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.”
Silver also warns that teams will suffer “significant penalties” if they don’t provide adequate notice when it’s decided that a player will not play due to rest. There are league rules that govern when and how teams must notify the league office, their opponent and the media about such decisions.
The NBA is an entertainment product just like your favorite Netflix show, so just imagine watching Breaking Bad every night without Walter White making an appearance. Teams have valid points about resting players on the second half of back to back games, but at the end of the day, the players have a responsibility to entertain the fans with the best basketball possible and that cannot happen without the star players playing.