Professional athletes are humans. Eat, sleep, work go home humans. Go out have fun spend time with their family humans. So it’s understandable that when performing at the highest level that an athlete might need some time off to rest.
When you look at the box score and see DNP (Did Not Play) coaches decision what comes to mind? Oh there must be a scandal or maybe he’s hurt. Then you take a look at the injury report, nope not injured. You take a look through every story you can find about the team, nope there’s no scandal. No rifts between player and head coach. The reason the coach decided not to play your favorite player simply came down to rest.
Gregg Poppavich is the creator of this trend. He used to rest his best players in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker even when there was no apparent injury. Nobody even took a second look because all those players involved were in their mid-to-late 30s. At the point that coach Poppavich started to rest his younger players in the same manner, it all of a sudden started to get out of hand.
“Well what’s the problem Ab?” The problem is we have games were players in their 20s are resting just to be fresh for another game in the (most likely distant) future. It would be nice to get free tickets to a Cleveland Cavaliers game, but the tickets cost an arm and a leg for any decent seats. Fans watching at home are anticipating must see T.V. but instead get a cheap medley of backups. Fans didn’t come to see the Cavaliers led by J.R. “Sweet Chuck” Smith (a nickname I give him) and Iman Shumpert, but instead were hoping to catch a glimpse of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. They deserve the right to see the healthy players perform at the highest level. We shouldn’t get to the game and find that our favorite players are not playing due to only rest.
Growing up, my uncle used to tell me “You’ll get plenty of time to sleep when your six feet under.” When you reach the point that you’re making millions of dollars to perform, fans want to see what you can do. Go out work hard and get that ticket to an NBA game and find yourself wondering “Should I have taken a rest when I spent my money on this ticket ?” Most likely a couple of teams this season will have you feeling that way.