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Should NBA players take games off?

Photo+credit%3A+Kayla+Fitzgerald
Photo credit: Kayla Fitzgerald

Photo credit: Kayla Fitzgerald

Photo credit: Kayla Fitzgerald

Patrick Pace

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Imagine this: You’re a huge fan of Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers but you live in Los Angeles. You buy tickets to watch the Cavaliers play the Clippers during the regular season. You buy yourself a Lebron jersey, pay for parking and food in the stadium, to then sit down at your seat only to find out that your favorite player decided not to play in the game.

He was not injured or sick, he just decided that he needed to rest for a bit.This was a reality for fans last Saturday night. People paid a lot of money to watch their star player sit down for the entire game. James even drank hot tea during the game, something I have never seen a player do before.

In previous years, it was rare to see a player take a game off before holding a firm position of a top spot in the playoffs. Even then, most players would still try to get out there and compete for at least the first half.

But, this all changed when Greg Poppovich took over the San Antonio Spurs in 1996. Poppovich realized that as his stars got older, they wouldn’t be able to play at a high level for all 82 games. So he strategically sat his stars out during a few games to keep them fresh for playoffs.

This strategy paid off as he’s won five NBA championships in his 20 seasons as a head coach.

However, this is now becoming an issue with the top teams in the league. The Golden State Warriors, Clippers, Spurs, Warriors and Cavaliers have all sat out their top players multiple times throughout the past few seasons.

The Boston Celtics have also adopted this strategy. But this leaves fans wondering if they should buy tickets. If their favorite players won’t be playing it would be a complete waste of money.

The NBA should implement a policy where teams notify the league if a player will not be taking part in a game at least a week before the event takes place. This would give the fans time to sell their tickets, and would save them from wasting their time watching a game without the player they came to see.

But should players be punished if they skip a certain amount of game for rest purposes? I believe they should be allowed to rest for no more than five games. Doing this would allow the players to space out the games as they choose.

Players resting have become a huge problem in today’s NBA, and it will only get worse if no rules are put in place to control this issue.

Patrick Pace can be reached at sportseditor@theorion.com or @patpacesports on Twitter.

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Should NBA players take games off?