NBA Official Criticizes “Load Management,” Calls for Greater Player Participation
In a recent statement, NBA official Joe Dumars criticized the practice of resting players, colloquially known as “load management,” arguing that it is no longer supported by the league’s scientific data. Dumars, a former NBA player and now an executive with the league, urged for a re-establishment of a culture where players attempt to participate in most of the 82 regular-season games.
The term “load management” gained popularity in recent years as star players missed significant portions of the season due to strategic resting. This trend has raised concerns among fans who pay top dollar to see their favorite players in action. In response, the league has implemented new policies to restrict resting players and set a new games-played requirement for postseason awards eligibility.
Dumars, along with Evan Wasch, the league’s executive VP of basketball strategy and analytics, is now emphasizing the need for greater player participation during the regular season and a better effort in the All-Star Game. They believe that increasing player involvement will lead to more exciting games and greater viewer engagement.
Furthermore, the league’s concern about the impact of load management extends beyond the fans’ experience. The NBA is currently negotiating a new TV contract worth billions of dollars, and the prevalence of rested players could potentially diminish the value of the product. Consequently, the NBA aims to find a solution to this issue to maintain high interest and secure a lucrative TV deal in the future.
To enforce the newly implemented resting policies, teams found in violation could face significant fines. However, the league currently has no direct recourse to force players to play harder in the All-Star Game, even though it is an annual showcase for the league’s top talent. Dumars suggests finding a happy medium between the intensity of playoff games and the lackluster efforts seen in recent All-Star Games.
As the NBA’s battle against “load management” continues, the league seeks to strike a balance that ensures the health and well-being of players while maintaining the excitement and competitive nature of the game. The NBA hopes that increasing player participation will not only benefit fans and negotiate better TV deals but also foster a more cohesive and united league overall.
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