The NBA adopted new rules regarding the resting of healthy players during its board of governors meeting on Wednesday. Under the new rules, the NBA sides have been allowed to rest only one star player per game. According to a report filed by ESPN, teams will be handed a fine of $100,000 for the first violation. A second violation will reportedly cost the offender $250,000. According to the Player Participation Policy, a star player is someone who has been named in an All-NBA Team or NBA All-Star team in the last three seasons.
Currently, 49 players are classified as “stars” thanks to their previous All-Star or All-NBA selections in the last three years. Out of them, 15 teams have two or more “stars.” According to the report, 25 teams and 50 players (nearly 11% of the league) will be impacted by the new rules. The report suggests that had the rule been applied last season, 46 basketballers would have been affected.
The new policy also mandates that teams must make their star players available for nationally televised matches and In-Season Tournament fixtures. The NBA had come up with a Player Resting Policy ahead of the 2017-18 season. “This is ultimately about the fans. And that we’ve taken this [load management] too far. This is an acknowledgement that it has gotten away from us a bit. That doesn’t mean we were turning the clock back, that players are expected to play through injuries or that players never need rest. But there’s a statement of a principle in this league that, if you’re a healthy player, you’re going to play,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told the reporters.
How NBA’s new rules on resting stars will work for Lebron, Curry
Under the new policy, teams will have to refrain from any long-term “shutdown” when a star does not participate in games or features in a materially reduced role which can impact the integrity of the match. The new policy will, however, be not applied for injuries and personal reasons. With 82 matches to be played over 178 days, the NBA teams will roughly be in action every two days this season.
Interestingly, the NBA has mentioned several exceptions through which teams can get approvals for star players to miss back-to-back games. According to the report, ‘pre-approved designated back-to-back allowances’ are allowed for players who are 35 on opening night or have career workloads of 34,000 regular-season minutes or 1,000 regular-season and playoff games combined. Chris Paul, Mike Conley, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan and James Harden are the high-profile names who feature under the aforementioned category.
Keeping the fixture congestion in mind, the NBA has decided to cut down on franchises playing back-to-back matches in different cities, increasing consecutive away games against the same opposition team. Denver Nuggets will start their title defence against the Los Angeles Lakers on the opening night— October 24—this season. Phoenix Suns will be up against Golden State Warriors in the second match of the opening day.