In order to prevent star players from sitting out in important games, the league is also implementing penalties
North American Sports are a multimillion-dollar business. But that’s nothing new to the fans. The MLB, NHL, MLS, NFL and the NBA, have lots of players, coaches and executives making a lot of money. And it is only possible thanks to the product. Those leagues are rentable because they generate money.
Much of this money only comes from fans paying for very expensive merchandise and game tickets. And it is frustrating when they attend to a game expecting to have the chance to see a superstar and they simply don’t play. Thinking of that, the NBA Board of Governors is approving a tougher rest rule.
Last Wednesday the board approved unanimously new measures to avoid star players sitting out games. It will also prevent multiple All-Stars from sitting out together for regular-season games. The new rule would ultimately give the league office authority for greater oversight over discipline for missed games. Now they can fine teams more than $1 million for each instance of violating resting rules, sources told ESPN.
“I think we’ll state this principle, see how teams react and see if more needs to be done,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “But I think, most importantly, there’s a sense from all the different constituent groups in the league that this is ultimately about the fans and that we’ve taken this too far. I mean, this is an acknowledgement that it’s gotten away from us a bit. Particularly I think when you see young, healthy players who are resting. It becomes maybe even more notion of stature around the league as opposed to absolute needed rest. Or it’s just part of being an NBA player that you rest on certain days. And that’s what we’re trying to move away from.”
The new rule
Under the policy, unless a team demonstrates an approved reason for a star player not to participate in a game, then, among other things, the team must:
- Manage its roster to ensure that no more than one star player is unavailable for the same game.
- Ensure that star players are available for all national television and NBA In-Season Tournament games.
- Maintain a balance between the number of one-game absences for a star player in home and road games.
- Refrain from any long-term “shutdowns” in which a star player stops playing games.
- If resting a healthy player, ensure that the player is present at the games and visible to fans.
The policy includes exceptions for injuries, personal reasons and pre-approved back-to-back restrictions based on a player’s age, career workload or serious injury history.