The greatest player of all-time doesn’t believe in load management.
With the league fully engaged in a debate about whether to rest players – with Kawhi Leonard sullying Wednesday’s national TV game by sitting or Knicks coach David Fizdale being questioned for playing his rookie too many minutes -- Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford said his players are always expected to play. He added it was the same when he coached Charlotte and the edict came from owner Michael Jordan.
“Our guys aren’t used to sitting on the second game of a back-to-back.… We’re not sitting guys just to sit,” Clifford said. “For me, my background frankly, it all goes back to expectations. Being with Michael in Charlotte, Michael used to tell them every year, you’re paid to play 82 games.”
Jordan was a famously durable player who played 82 games in nine different seasons and averaged over 38 minutes for his career. Clifford used Kemba Walker as an example of the Hornets’ philosophy, noting that the point guard played 82 games last season with a high usage rate.