One week after the Golden State Warriors sat out Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson for what was supposed to be their huge primetime showdown with the San Antonio Spurs, the Cleveland Cavaliers took a page out of the Warriors' playbook by resting their own Big 3 of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love in their 108-78 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles.
According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Cavaliers general manager David Griffin received a phone call from the NBA league office, who weren't happy with the team's judgment call, about seven minutes after the organization announced they were sitting James, Irving, and Love. While Griffin defends that everyone except for one player on the roster were "reasonably injured" heading into last night's contest, the decision didn't sit well with a number of people, including former NBA head coach and current ESPN/ABC color commentator Jeff Van Gundy, who said the Cavs sitting their Big 3 should be a "prosecutable offense."
The Cavaliers' decision also struck a chord with 14-time NBA All-Star and two-time league MVP, Karl Malone, who said that, unless the player on the roster has at least 10 years experience, he should be out on the court.
As the league continues to search for new ways to prevent NBA fans from paying top dollar for a ticket only to have their favorite superstars sitting out for rest, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers believes he has a solution. "I think we have to treat those games like they're afternoon games, and you don't play the night before," Rivers told ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz. "And then you don't play the next night after."
Regardless of where you stand on the issue of coaches periodically resting their players, there is a real concern about a team ensuring that they have their most talented athletes at or near full health for a successful playoff push. While fans want to see their favorite players in person when they attend a game, those same fans want to see their favorite players playing their best when it matters most. It's a give-and-take situation where everyone won't come out winning.
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