The Cleveland Cavaliers rested LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love during a 108-78 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. That decision earned Cleveland GM David Griffin a call from the league office.
It also earned the Cavaliers some ire from NBA Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone.
Speaking with ESPN’s Sage Steele, Malone said only 10-year veterans should be allowed to rest.
“If you don’t have at least 10 years experience, get your ass playing. It’s not work — it’s called playing. Besides, tell our underpaid service members and police and first responders to rest. They can’t.”
The seemingly random connection between NBA players and public servants aside, I think we all have some kind of agreement that national TV NBA games should deliver a quality product for both in-person and broadcast viewers.
As Kurt pointed out yesterday, there is a big problem with the league promoting these games as show stoppers, yet having a schedule that’s so rough some teams feel the need to rest players coming off a back-to-back.
It would have been nice to see a full lineup against the Clippers on Sunday for Cleveland, but even by Malone’s logic we still would have been missing LeBron. Love is in his 9th year and Irving is in his 6th.
Still, that there is no variation in Malone’s logic is sort of ridiculous. Love just came back from knee surgery, and Irving sprained his ankle the game prior. Not everyone can have Malone’s playing record. In fact, almost nobody does save for James himself. He is one of the only superstars in the modern NBA with a healthy consistency like Malone. According to ESPN, in his first 12 seasons he only took nine DNP-rests.
In any case, keep it coming. We need to talk more about the NBA schedule because it’s ridiculous. Plus, more weird Karl Malone quotes are cool, too.