Report: NBA to implement rest rules that come with consequences for violators

Dan Mullan/Getty Images
9 Comments

In November, NBA Adam Silver commissioner stated a preference for teams resting players at home – but added a rule probably isn’t the answer. By June, Silver was talking about rest guidelines.

Now, it appears the league is enacting rest rules.

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

NBA owners are expected to approve player-resting rules in September designed to cut back on teams benching healthy players for regular-season games, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

The rules will be in place by the start of the 2017-18 season and there will be consequences for teams that do not adhere to the rules.

The NBA is a cooperative of 30 teams. They share revenue and need each other to form their entire system. When one team rests players – particularly stars – to gain a long-term competitive advantage, the other teams suffer.

So, I understand the league’s desire to limit rest.

But how will this be enforced? There’s a fine line between a player being injured and resting. What was previously described as rest will just be called a sore back or some other non-descript injury. Will the NBA really investigate all those?

The league is already controlling what it should – increasing off days, particularly around nationally televised games. Reducing the incentive to rest players will help.

But actual requirements about when teams can rest players? That seems only arbitrarily enforceable at best.