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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Resting players an issue.


Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire. "

The NBA, along with hockey, have an issue with " resting " players, that is, shutting the players down or scratching from the lineup late in a season.

Using basketball as an example, Golden State and Cleveland are powerhouses, expected to play well into the Spring and thus, an " off day " or a scratch accomplishes two things.

One, it gives valuable franchise players like Stephen Curry or LeBron James an extra day of rest here and there on the belief that it will keep them fresh for significant playoff games ahead.

And second, sitting a player down, or out, minimizes the risk of the star player suffering an injury in what might be a non-consequential game and hurting the franchise in the long term or bigger picture.

I get that. I never liked it, but I get the concept.

The issue, certainly at the NBA level, came to a head after nationally televised games on back-to-back Saturday nights were diluted by team decisions to rest star players.

As stated above, I get it, BUT, the good people at network TV who pay huge dollars for game rights and then charge significant fees to high profile sponsors are miffed.

And when money is miffed, there's action.

Once upon a time, resting players in basketball or hockey was never an issue, but in current times where an actuarial can be every bit as valuable as a point guard, the resting issue is not a peaceful one.

I'm Fred Wallace

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