There’s well-meaning, and then there’s meddling. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s letter to owners, urging them to get more involved in the decision to rest key players and warning of “significant penalties” for teams that flout league rules, will do little to stem the growing problem and might only create new ones. Coaches and general managers are entrusted to decide what is best for their players and teams, and asking owners to overrule them puts everyone in dangerous territory. So, too, the possibility of pitting owners against each other when a fan base is incensed that all it saw of LeBron James was his suit game. But the time to address it was before the new TV contract that added 21 nationally televised games started this season. Not now, when there’s only a month left in the regular season and being ready for the playoffs is the priority. No one is questioning that the NBA has to find a way to manage the physical demands of an 82-game schedule and the interests of the fans and networks paying for it. Research has shown a link between fatigue and injury, and ESPN’s Kevin Pelton found that, since 1978, teams that lost the NBA Finals suffered 2½ more injuries to key players than the teams that won. Wearable technology has made the decisions on when to rest someone all the more clear-cut, giving teams sophisticated and detailed data on fatigue levels, sleep patterns and reaction rates for each player. But the NBA is in the entertainment business, and those watching – be they in the arena or at home – want to see the big names.
NBA takes wrong approach to scheduling issue
USA Today | Mar 22