NEW YORK (WFAN) — On Nov. 17, 2016, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told WFAN’s Mike Francesa that there is no easy answer to the trend of coaches resting star players in road games.
Silver said he doesn’t support the idea of passing a rule to address the issue because, while fans might hate buying tickets only to see Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker sit on the bench, they would also not want to see the league “dictating to Steve Kerr and Coach Pop and others ‘you are obligated to play players these minutes.’ It just doesn’t work.”
Silver said because there’s more medical data available to coaches about the wear-and-tear on a player’s body, they are increasingly calculating how many minutes athletes, especially older ones, can handle and still be effective come playoff time.
The commissioner added that one way the NBA has tried to address the issue has been by cutting the number of back-to-back games by 20 percent over the past three seasons and almost entirely eliminating the practice of having teams play four games in five days.
Silver said the NBA might explore, through collective bargaining, the possibility of extending the schedule by one week to allow for more time between games, but he added it’s important that the NBA Finals wrap up before the end of June.
He also said that he hopes the issue will correct itself to some degree.
“There also have been situations where there’s been too much resting,” Silver said. “You even talk to some of the players against the coaches making these decisions … there’s nothing like the conditioning they get in playing. And so on the other hand … coaches realize if there’s too resting that the guys get out of their rhythm.”
To listen to the interview, in which Silver discusses several other topics, click on the audio player above.
For more Best of Mike Francesa, click here.