NBA Resting Players: Teams May Get Punished By Commissioner Adam Silver For Resting Star Players In Road Games

NBA teams resting players may soon be at risk of getting punished by the league. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been pressured to do something about teams resting players during road games. Now it’s an issue that has been placed in front of the NBA competition committee to come with answers for the situation.

A report by Yahoo! Sports states that Adam Silver has already presented some guidelines and strong recommendations for teams. Violating these new guidelines could lead to the commissioner punishing teams that still decide to rest players on the same night. There is an extensive quote below from Silver that might frustrate some NBA fans. This response was to a question about whether the league is ready to start heavily enforcing new policies.

“We’re not ready to go there yet. We had a conference call with the competition committee earlier today, and as I had said the other day, where we’re heading is the adoption of a set of guidelines that will be in place for next season which will strongly recommend that the extent players are rested, they’re rested at home and not rest multiple starters on the same night.”

At issue here is that several teams were resting players during important nights for the NBA schedule, possibly hurting television ratings and upsetting fans who had bought tickets to see specific players. One of the teams most known for resting star players is the San Antonio Spurs, who routinely did it with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich cared more about keeping his players fresh than putting his five best players on the court for every game during the regular season.

A report by NBC Sports quoted Popovich after NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a memo to team owners during the 2016-17 NBA season. Silver had asked owners to be considerate about resting players. It stemmed from a nationally televised game for the Cleveland Cavaliers, where LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving all sat out on the same night. It was something that many NBA analysts suggested the Cavs should do because of the heavy numbers of minutes for their star players.

“I think keeping owners informed about what’s going on is mandatory, and having input is fine. But I think there has to be an understanding that coaches and GMs have brains also, and we know who pays the bills. It’s a slippery slope, I think, if owners got too involved in that process. That trust relationship in those three areas is really important in creating a culture and making something that can be long-lasting.”

In summary, Popovich was basically stating that owners should not have a role in deciding how many minutes a coach can use players in a game.

What may have finally forced Adam Silver to do something was the final game of the NBA season between the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets. If the Nets had won the game, they would have eliminated the Heat from playoff contention; instead, the Nets chose to rest players, giving the Heat an easy win to end the season. It was almost enough to put Miami in the postseason, but a final win by the Chicago Bulls ended those thoughts.

So what happens next? At some point, if NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the competition committee want to give these guidelines teeth, they will need to present something to the Players’ Union. Fines, loss of draft picks, and even suspensions are some of the rumored punishments being considered. Silver hopes that teams will make better choices when it comes to resting players and that no punishments are needed, but will NBA franchises actually accept these guidelines?

[Featured Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]