Another Saturday night primetime basketball game on ABC and yet another round of key starters sitting out! Let me begin with my original argument that it’s the fans that get hurt the most. Let’s face it, most of us work our collective butts off. In doing so, we have a choice of how and where we spend our money. For instance, if you spend your hard-earned money at a restaurant and that service sucks, are you going to go back? Heck no! So, if you show up to a NBA game and the stars you were hoping to see…the starts you shelled out hundreds of dollars to see…if they sit, are you going back? You shouldn’t!
Right now, the media is making a big deal out of this and the NBA is finally taking notice of the problem because of the money networks pay in order to show these games. I have to be honest, every time I now see a Little Wayne commercial on ESPN, which tells me the big game coming up on ABC on Saturday, I laugh. I think to myself, “I wonder who’s going to sit out this game.” This means, I don’t intend on wasting my Saturday night watching. What does that mean for the networks? That means that advertisers are coming to realize that their money isn’t well spent with these networks and they are going to stop spending. Ultimately, everyone loses. And why? Oh, because LeBron James NEEDS rest.
What’s really funny is that everyone and their mother likes to compare LeBron James to Michael Jordan, right? Well, Michael Jordan didn’t take days off…didn’t take days of rest. Michael Jordan also set records in the playoffs and Finals and was still able to be the very best player in the world. So, you’re telling me LeBron James is comparable to Michael Jordan even though he can’t handle back-to-back games? No matter what side of the fence you’re on, think about that fact for a second. Even in the NHL, which also features 82 games, they play back-to-backs all the time. Other than giving a goalie rest, do any of these players rest? No. So what is it that makes today’s NBA players so darn weak, both physically and mentally?
On the other side of the argument, science and medicine supports providing players rest. It supports giving people a break from the mental toll. And there’s argument to be had with that. Though most of us don’t take the time off we need from work, we could probably use it. We’d probably be more productive with more days off. Figure this, what if we worked 8-hour days only 4 days a week and hand 3 days off? We’d probably be far more productive that we are currently. But, on the other side of this “more days off” argument, these guys get 3-months off during a year. How many of us get that?!?
Let’s face it; these guys get paid millions upon millions of dollars to play a game. Though it is their job, it’s still a game and nothing changes that. Even if you have to run up and down a court for 40 minutes on consecutive nights, you’re supposed to be in optimal shape to do so. You’re telling me you’re saving it for the Finals? Seriously? Take Chicago Blackhawks’ Defensman, Duncan Keith for example. This guy puts in around 25 minutes of ice time per night and still plays back-to-back nights. So why can’t LeBron James do it? Worse yet, a guy like LeBron James is worshiped by fans…especially children. You’re going to tell me it’s fair for LeBron to sit out when it could be a young child’s only opportunity to see him play? Personally, I am afraid to spend money to go to a Cavs game because I don’t want to disappoint my child in the possibility on not seeing LeBron play. Is that the sign of the one of the best ever? Is that the sign of an MVP? I don’t think so. I think former Yankees great, Joe DiMaggio said it best, ““There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time, I owe him my best.” Think about that for a second and re-evaluate your respect for players like LeBron James who sit-out and feel “too tired” to do their job.