Not everyone in the NBA has to follow the new ‘load management’ guidelines; superstars like LeBron James and Stephen Curry are among those exempted.
The NBA has intervened in the “load management” debate and will take action.
New regulations, known collectively as the Player Participation Policy, were passed by the league’s Board of Governors on Wednesday to assure that “star players” will be accessible for nationally broadcast games during the regular season and In-Season Tournament. To qualify as a “star player” in the NBA’s eyes, one must have been selected to either the All-Star or All-NBA teams during the last three seasons, and there are now 49 players in the league that meet this criterion.
However, players who are 35 or older or who have played at least 34,000 minutes in the NBA are exempt from the new restriction. The league may give these players permission to sit out in advance under certain conditions. LeBron James, the NBA’s all-time greatest scorer, is one example; Stephen Curry, the league’s three-point shooting champion, is another.
Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, has long urged clubs to play their best players in primetime games, arguing that the practice of not doing so for reasons of “rest” and “load management” is detrimental to the viewing experience.
Silver remarked, “This is all about the fans.” And that we’ve gone too far with this. In other words, we’re admitting that it’s gotten a little out of hand.
Despite the demands of an 82-game regular season, modern coaching staffs have been careful in their efforts to limit injuries and keep players as fresh as possible for the playoffs. The new regulations aim to keep the regular season’s worth and credibility intact while decreasing the number of “meaningless” games that clubs play in an effort to “tank.”
However, besides James and Curry, there are a few more superstars who can take a break when they’re feeling well. Future Hall of Famers like Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Chris Paul are among these veterans.
The 35-year-old Durant has reached a third barrier for resting while healthy: he has played in more than 1,000 games between the regular season and the playoffs. Durant has started all 1,152 of his career NBA games, while Harden (34) has started 1,160, and Paul (38) has started 1,363.