10:32pm: USA Today has obtained a full copy of Silver’s memo, Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick report (link). In his statement, Silver implored team owners to be mindful of “business ramifications of sitting players.”
“Decisions of this kind do not merely implicate issues of player health and team performance on the court; they also can affect fans and business partners, impact our reputation, and damage the perception of our game. With so much at stake, it is simply not acceptable for Governors to be uninvolved or to defer decision-making authority on these matters to others in their organizations,” the memo read.
Per Zillgitt, the commissioner indicated there would be a “full discussion of this issue in our Executive Session” on April 6.
8:14pm: NBA commissioner Adam Silver isn’t happy with the growing trend of teams resting star players in nationally televised games. According to a report from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Silver issued a memo to league owners on Monday, detailing “significant penalties” for teams that don’t provide sufficient notice of rest games.
Silver’s memo argued these games of rest affect “fans and business partners,” alike, while having a negative impact on the consumer’s “perception of our game.” Per Shelburne, teams must provide “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.” Silver’s memo is certain to be a point of discussion at the NBA Board of Governors meeting on April 6th.
Shelburne relayed a statement from ESPN on the subject:
“As always, our aim is to serve NBA fans with the best matchups involving the league’s top stars and we share the fans’ disappointment. We understand this is a complex issue and we’re working closely with the NBA to best address it going forward from a media partnership standpoint.”
Clearly, the league will face resistance in their efforts at reducing rest games. According to an earlier report from Shelburne, Cavs GM David Griffin received a call from the league after he’d opted to rest three starters in a nationally televised game. Griffin doubled-down on his decision, however, citing injuries to core players Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and Kyle Korver. Griffin summed up his argument: “I can’t make [LeBron James] drag himself through this tonight by himself and then have everybody else play tomorrow and still not win.
Yeah, it sucks from a timing perspective. I feel bad for the league. I really do. I feel bad for the league, but it is what it is for us, from an injury standpoint.”