CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - With LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love all sitting on Saturday vs. the Los Angeles Clippers, an ongoing NBA problem appears to be getting worse, the willingness of NBA teams to "rest" players while still charging fans full price for the tickets.
(Funny how Tristan Thompson, working on a streak of 400+ consecutive games, doesn't seem to need rest.)
Anyway, here's how to fix the 'rest' issue:
David Stern tried this back in 2012, fining the Spurs $250,000 for sitting Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green against Miami. Stern (correctly) called it 'a disservice to the league and fans,' but that amount obviously didn't get the teams' attention.
So let's make it a million.
The commissioner decides if those "injuries" are legitimate.
And if a team is caught faking, the fine is $10 million.
FIVE, NOT ONE
Here's another way to stop a team from 'resting"'a player with a phantom injury.
If a star sits out with an injury, real or imagined, it's not just one game.
You've heard of the 15-day DL in baseball?
This is the 5-game NBA DL.
Let's see how injured the player really is.
BYE BYE BACK TO BACKS
Cavs GM David Griffin said on ABC Saturday that they didn't want to play Irving and Love, who are coming off injuries, in back-to-back games.
Fine, let's get rid of the back-to-backs leaguewide.
The Cavs play 17 this season.
So we knock the regular season schedule down to 65 games, which makes much more sense anyway and definitely improves the quality of play.
That's a reduction of 20 percent.
Everyone (players, owners, TV & radio partners) must now agree to take 20 percent less money in return.
The league generated $5.8 billion in revenue last season.
They can afford it.
PLAYERS GIVE BACK
Remember those fans that everyone claims to care so much about?
The ones getting shafted after paying top dollar for tickets, only to see the subs play?
We'll steal this idea from Jalen Rose on ABC: those players who are "resting" should get up to the concourse and sign autographs.
Rose didn't put a minimum time on the autograph session, so we will: two hours.
OWNERS GIVE MORE BACK
Those same fans should get at least at 50 percent discount from the home team's owner on a night any star is resting.
If you as an owner want to put less than your best product out there, then you should be willing to charge less than full value.
BACKUP NATIONAL GAMES
ABC did plenty of whining Saturday night but this is partly their fault too.
Networks shouldn't lock themselves into having just one game as the national game of the week.
Have 2 or 3 starting at that same time, so if a few stars in game one suddenly sit at the last second, you can go to a different game where players are actually competing.
Baseball did this for years with its Saturday afternoon national game, and it also protects against boring blowouts (if your main game is out of hand, switch to a better finish somewhere else).