Skip to content

If Stern penalizes players who sit to rest, watch “injuries” rise

Nov 30, 2012, 4:09 PM EDT

David Stern AP

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

David Stern has a lot of questions to answer if he is going to fine Gregg Popovich or Spurs owner Peter Holt for sitting Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili on Thursday night against the Heat. We have already covered those questions in detail.

It is within Stern’s right to make a league rule about playing healthy players (and 20 years ago he did fine Pat Riley for resting a healthy Magic Johnson in the final game of the season, although that same thing has gone unpunished since).

However, coaches want their players to rest. There are all kinds of studies that will show you rested players not only play better but also are less likely to be injured. They will find a way.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN was thinking along the same lines.

For years in the league, players that were not one of the 12 allowed to dress for each game had to be put on the injury list. To be put on the list officially teams had to announce an injury. In the absence of a legit condition, teams started routinely to announce players had been diagnosed with various forms of tendinitis.

If you researched the transactions from the 1990s and early 2000s, you’d have seen an incredible wave of patella tendinitis and Achilles tendinitis that sprawled across the NBA. Remarkably it often struck end of the roster players who rarely played. Thanks either to medical science or a change in paperwork, games missed due to such injuries have been eradicated like polio.

The magical cure was not a vaccination, but rather the league changed the rules so you could just designate a healthy player to sit.

But if Stern comes down on high with an edict about resting healthy players where fines could be forthcoming, suddenly the cases of tendonitis — or mild sprains, or other such maladies — will suddenly be on the rise again.

Just something to watch. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Latest Posts
  1. 67RIEFNS: Warriors starters with Draymond Green

    Oct 25, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers

    Lineup data shows Green greatly improves his team’s chances when playing with the starters.

  2. 67RIEFNS: Lance Stephenson on the loose

    Oct 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Charlotte Hornets vs Philadelphia 76ers Charlotte Hornets vs Philadelphia 76ers

    Is Stephenson ready for responsibility that comes with going from Pacers to Hornets?

  3. Report: Cavaliers have had ‘zero discussion’ on contract extension with Tristan Thompson

    Oct 25, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Tristan Thompson Tristan Thompson

    It might be because short of an insane offer of a max deal, Thompson would rather take his chances as a restricted free agent next summer.

  4. Kings’ Ray McCallum sinks put-back at the buzzer to beat Lakers

    Oct 25, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Ray McCallum AP

    Nice job of McCallum to stay active on a play where he had already missed a shot.

  5. 67RIEFNS: Isaiah Thomas vs. Sacramento Kings

    Oct 25, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Sacramento Kings Los Angeles Clippers v Sacramento Kings

    Will Thomas make Kings regret choosing Darren Collison over him?

  6. Thunder’s Anthony Morrow to miss 4-6 weeks with knee sprain

    Oct 25, 2014, 12:01 AM EDT

    Grizzlies vs Thunder Grizzlies vs Thunder

    Thunder will be very short-handed the first month of the regular season.

  7. Player intentionally makes shot in own basket in attempt to force overtime

    Oct 24, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    And it was probably the smartest possible play

  8. 67RIEFNS: K.J. McDaniels testing the second-round system

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Getty Images

    76ers forwent any guaranteed salary to hit free agency sooner

  9. Why I am going to miss Steve Nash

    Oct 24, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT

    steve-nash-getty Getty Images

    Nash was everything we want as a fan in an NBA player.

  10. 67RIEFNS No. 34: JaVale McGee doing JaVale McGee things

    Oct 24, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

    Denver Nuggets Media Day Denver Nuggets Media Day

    The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order. JaVale McGee played just five games last year after injuring his leg. How did we…

Featured video

Heat can make playoffs without LeBron
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. B. Lopez (4979)
  2. V. Oladipo (4974)
  3. K. Bryant (4939)
  4. N. Noel (4731)
  5. J. Lin (4654)