Get on The Floor: Silver Warns of Harsh Consequences for Resting Players
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has put teams on notice that the league wouldn’t be sitting by quietly while franchise players park themselves anywhere else but on the hardwood during scheduled games. Per reports from ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne, the 54-year-old New York native sent a pointed memo to team owners as a preemptive strike to more drastic measures, cautioning them that there would be “significant penalties” for teams that fail to adhere to the protocol in notifying the league of a decision to give a healthy player a hall pass for a game.
Fans shell out their hard-earned money to watch their favorite team play, not to imagine the game with uninjured players resting; first responders can’t take days off to rest when there’s an emergency, why should athletes get to play hooky?
And apparently, I’m not the only one applauding Silver for calling out the lackadaisical malingerers for their absenteeism, retired sports writer Terry Foster recently tweeted, “good for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for chastising teams for not playing star players. Bravo!!” and Fox Sports 1 newswoman Kristine Leahy from The Herd with Colin Cowherd, co-signed, tweeting “NBA Ratings are down, college basketball is up. Reason? Resting players tell us night after night, the regular season doesn’t matter.”
“But, at the same time, the league has to understand that the science of what we do is a whole lot more sophisticated than it used to be, and we definitely added years to people,” legendary San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said recently in an NBC Sports article. “Do you want to see this guy in this one game or do you want to see him for three more years of his career? And do you want to see him through the playoffs because he didn’t get hurt?”
Look, Pop is a Hall of Fame-bound coach who’s crafted a faultless system in San Antonio and as much as I enjoy watching his stoic faced courtside interviews, basketball is a sport but it’s a business first. At the highest level, professional athletes out-earn high powered executives in droves, wield more influence on consumer perception than most government officials and inspire millions with not just what they say but what they do.
At the end of the day, they knew what they were signing up for when they sign on the dotted line to play for a team so to expect to take unexcused naptimes because they haven’t figured out how to pace themselves for a full season is a personal problem, it shouldn’t become professional. I absolutely agree with Commissioner Silver on his stance towards those players, especially the popular stars, who count on sitting out when they’re healthy. Suck it up buttercup and do your job or do you need a quartet of violins serenading you?