Hey NBA, get it together, will ya?
-Written by Alec Baicher
Here at Hot Salad World, we are a blog for the people. HSW reader Jason Keats (@Jason_Keats) recently asked to get Hot Salad World's take on the hottest topic in the NBA right now. As the fan friendly site we are, I am happy to oblige!
Okay, here's the background for everyone. This year more than any other year, it seems like more teams are playing back-to-back games and road trips have been longer and more grueling. With that, more teams are resting star players on the road. In the NBA, teams visit opposing arena's anywhere from 1-3 times per year. If you're a fan of a small market team (i.e, Indiana, Orlando, Portland, New Orleans, etc), you are going to want to see the stars of opposing teams come in an play. NBA fans usually buy tickets before the season or a few weeks in advance when high profile teams come into their home teams arena.
This year especially, the star players are resting wayyyy more than they should be on the road. Sometimes its because of back-to-back games, sometimes its the end of a long road trip, and other times its just to get the face of the franchise some rest. With that said, there are multiple parties involved to blame, lets go down the list:
1. The NBA
Mismanagement/disfunction from organizations comes from the top and the NBA scheduling committee or whatever jamoke does the scheduling deserves the blame. Obviously, 82 games in 170 days is no easy task. Back-to-back games will have to happen, but they shouldn't make it when teams are traveling across country. Its common sense. However, common sense is lacking for whoever made the schedule. In reality, 82 games is probably too long of a season for the NBA. I would say 74 is a perfect number but thats a story for another day. Hey schedule makers, here's an idea, make back-to-back's happen between two teams with close geographical locations and don't send the Warriors to play in Minnesota on a Friday night and then fly to play San Antonio to play a Saturday night game. Let's think a little here guys!
2. NBA Teams
Okay, the NBA is a business first and foremost. To fans, its a sport we love but when we take a deeper look at things, its an occupation for some of the most talented people on the planet and they get paid to produce a product that entertains people. Now, the NBA schedule comes out about 3 months before the NBA regular season starts so all coaches are able to see the schedule and know the long road trips, back-to-backs, etc. Therefore, a team should have a plan before the season. If a team knows they have a back-to-back or are headed on an extended road trip, plan ahead for it! You have 41 home games to rest your stars. Obviously, you want to make your home fans happy, but you are playing entertainers.
Perfect scenario was in December, a little over a month into the season. The Cavs were playing back-to-back games with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Cavs were at home the first game, and played all their stars. The next day, in Memphis, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love DIDN'T EVEN SHOW UP. Come on Cleveland, fuck that noise. You go to Memphis once a year and people are paying top dollar to see LeBron. You could have easily rested him at home instead. Which brings me to the final culprit to blame for resting players...
3. LeBron James
Now, you may sit here reading this and may be completely dumbfounded. I originally was putting this as a joke, but now as I write, I realize what I'm about to say is probably truer than I thought. When LeBron James started taking games off and resting, others followed. The Warriors sat all their stars on an ESPN broadcast against the San Antonio Spurs two weeks ago. I seriously don't think Steve Kerr would have done it if the Cavs hadn't have done it first.
You see, resting players wasn't an issue in years past, because Greg Popovich and the Spurs have done it countless times in the past 5-6 seasons. LeBron started resting more this year and people took notice. Granted, he probably takes a bigger beating than any other player in the NBA in today's day and age, but still, you're LeBron James! Whenever LeBron does something good or cool, the NBA will follow. Its as easy as that. I can sit hear and truly exclaim that if LeBron didn't rest as much this year, this would be a non-issue. Lets just thank the LeBron James News Network (ESPN) for getting everyone all riled up for this. Hey LeBron, stop being a baby back bitch won't ya? (Jk, if you're reading this I think you're awesome and would love to have you on my podcast!)
A boy can dream...
Well, there you have it. It certainly wasn't a topic i thought I would hit, but I had to give the people what they wanted. For any of of HSW followers out there that want to see certain blogs or want my input on the wide world of sports tweet at me, @Shake_N_Baich and I'll be happy to give the people what they want
P.S. Steph is bigger bitch for resting against the Spurs than LeBron was resting against the Clippers