HOUSTON — With the recent trend of star players resting causing controversy around the NBA, Warriors coach Steve Kerr has a solution that could have unintended consequences.
“I always feel like the season could be 75 games instead of 82,” Kerr said following Thursday’s practice at the University of Houston. “It may not sound like much but seven fewer games during the season allow for more rest and more practice time.”
Kerr’s comments come as the NBA and the Los Angeles Clippers are facing criticism for L.A. resting star forward Kawhi Leonard for a nationally-televised matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. The decision was in line with the Clippers’ policy to rest Leonard during back-to-back sets. However, the arrangement goes against the NBA’s policy for teams to rest star players for national games.
Nonetheless, the league backed the Clippers, saying “he is not a healthy player under the league’s rest policy, and, as such, is listed as managing a knee injury in the LA Clippers injury report.”
Following Wednesday’s practice, Kerr — who has rested players in the past to preserve health during championship runs — sympathized with coaches tasked to maintain roster health.
“Over the previous few years– and you do it when you know your player needs it — whether it’d be a nagging injury or fatigue, long playoff runs, all kinds of stuff,” Kerr said. “Every team and every roster is unique to itself. You have to make the best decisions you can as a coach within the rules that the league provides, being in compliance with the league.”
Wednesday’s controversy is just the latest in the league’s quest to find a balance between keeping players healthy while adhering to the demands of fans, who help the league justify its $24 billion television deal, something Kerr said could play a part in the decision to cut games.
“It also means less revenue,” he said. “Everybody would have to agree to that. It affects everybody’s salaries, bottom line, all that stuff. So it’s not as simple as just saying ‘let’s do this’ but it does make sense. ”
“It’s a difficult issue. Fans want to see guys every night and as a coach you want to make sure they’re healthy when it really counts so it’s a tough balance.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr offers solution for load management issues originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area