NBA Will Fine Teams For Resting Healthy Players For Prime Time Games

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The NBA announced that it will begin fining teams that rest healthy players for nationally-televised games. It may sounds like a decent idea at first glance, but this new rule is too easy to avoid to have any real impact. All players would have to do is fake an injury. Commissioner Adam Silver might then be forced to hire impartial third-party doctors to avoid fake injuries, which is unlikely. So this new rule is nothing but lip service.

Here’s the funniest part of their new rules:

“in situations when teams decide to rest healthy players, those players should be visible to fans.”

The purpose of this Player-Resting Policy is to keep fans, who come out for games, from feeling slighted that they didn’t see LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo. It makes sense, but there’s no real way to force players to play. The rule applies only to primetime games anyway.

Third party doctors

Imagine how many sudden hamstring injuries we’ll be hearing about minutes before tip-off? NBA teams invest hundreds of millions of dollars into their assets and aren’t going to let a policy get in the way of protecting these cash cows. If they have to lie to their audience to give their star the rest they see fit, so be it.

The only way Adam Silver can force players to tell the truth about their health is by hiring doctors who won’t work for any individual team. Such doctors could then examine resting players with some degree of impartiality. That won’t happen though, and players are still going to play whenever the analytics say they should.

Cultural issue

Both those who love the NBA and those who hate it realize that the league has become too calculated. Teams already plan to sit their stars coming off back-to-backs or long road trips, which is bad for the game. Sports leagues care less and less about keeping fans happy and more about making money. If Commissioner Silver wants to make this game better, he’ll need to implement rules these teams can’t avoid so easily.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

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