A.C. Green has a streak that will probably never be broken, considering the way players and coaches now view the 82-game schedule.
Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192. Green’s streak looks more and more like Cal Ripken’s MLB Iron Man streak — something that no other player will come close to breaking. In today’s NBA, even a full season of games is considered too much to bear.
Coaches are resting players with increased frequency and commissioner Adam Silver isn’t happy about it. Many fans and the league’s broadcast partners are also irked by the practice of teams giving their stars who are healthy enough to play the night off. It’s become a hot-button issue now that two nationally-televised ABC broadcasts have featured a Warriors’ team sitting all their stars and the Cavaliers doing the same the following Saturday night.
Silver sent out a memo to all team owners imploring them to get more involved in decisions to sit out players, citing the “business ramifications” of these healthy scratches. It’s certainly not good for TV ratings and it shortchanges fans who bought tickets to these games, expecting to see LeBron James and Stephen Curry instead of second- and third-stringers.
Silver also called for significant penalties to be levied on teams who don’t given sufficient notice that they’re going to sit players.
Along with contenders giving their regulars a rest, some non-contenders are shutting down veterans to take longer looks at their younger players. The Suns are in case in point — they had to sign a player to 10-day contract on Sunday just have eight players suit up for a game earlier this week.
The flip side of the argument is that contenders want to keep their best players fresh for the postseason, rather than wear them out to collect a few more regular-season victories. As James, who has missed six games this season, points out, “A coach’s job is to figure out a way for their team to compete for a championship, not compete for a game.”
That brings us to our question of the day: Do you believe that the NBA needs to curtail the practice of resting players? If so, how should the league address the issue?
Please take to the comments section to voice your opinion. We look forward to your input on this topic.