Fans get upset when a healthy superstar sits out a game for a day of rest, and the NBA apparently plans to do something about it this season.
In September, the NBA owners are expected to approve rules designed to discourage teams from benching healthy players for regular-season games, USA Today reported Thursday.
The rules will be in effect at the start of the 2017-18 season, and teams will be penalized for not abiding by them.
The specifics of the rules and the consequences remain unknown at this point, however. Enforcing any rules regarding the resting of a healthy player may be difficult to do, starting with the problem of determining whether the player is actually healthy.
Earlier this week, the league office announced scheduling improvements designed to provide more rest for players. Teams will no longer play four games in five nights, and the number of back-to-back games has been reduced. It will require the regular season schedule to start a week earlier.
Commissioner Adam Silver suggested changes might be in store during at April news conference.
“There is an expectation among partners that teams are going to act in appropriate ways, (and) find, as I said, that right balance between resting on one hand and obligations to fans and partners on the other,” Silver said in April, according to USA Today.
“There is a recognition from teams that on one hand a certain amount of resting is just inevitable and appropriate to keep the players healthy, but that they shouldn’t be resting multiple starters on the same night.
“And, incidentally, wherever possible, they should rest at home. Because there, while I feel for the home fans, just as much as the away fans, the away fans may only get a chance to see that team once. And of course, the home team home fans can see that team many times.”