Don’t bench the stars


Justin Chambers, Reporter

If you were going to watch one of the so-called greatest basketball players of all time, would you want to see him actually playing, or would you rather watch him sit on the bench because he needs rest? This is a serious question because right now in the NBA, coaches are deciding to sit their star players in order for them to rest up. One prime example is Lebron James. He has sat multiple games in the past two or three seasons for rest. In some cases, basketball lovers from all over the world go out of their way to watch him play, but they are more likely to catch him sitting the bench. I know Lebron is not the only player doing this, but he is considered to be one of, if not, the best basketball player ever. If he can’t fight through just playing basketball for 15 to 20 minutes a night, then he just needs to think about retiring soon.

The Cavaliers are the biggest culprit of the whole sitting star players because they have sat their “big three” on multiple occasions. This consists of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and James. All three of those players have been an All-Star at least four times in their NBA career. Earlier in the season all three Cavs’ stars sat, as well as Pelican’s center Demarcus Cousins and Spurs’ forward LaMarcus Aldridge by either their head coach or people higher up in the organization.

Not only is this a problem with the fans not being able to see their favorite player live and in action, but according to SportsBusiness Daily, ESPN will pay the NBA upwards of 1.4 billion dollars a year to broadcast the games. If star players aren’t playing, then it screws them out of money because nobody will watch. That is a problem because like I said, if ESPN is paying the NBA 1.4 billion dollars then every time someone doesn’t watch they could lose money. Also, if teams are sitting people multiple times during a season the money starts to pile up. It might not be a huge amount of money, but it is still frustrating for ESPN and other broadcasting channels. “Decisions of this kind…can affect fans and business partners, impact our reputation and damage the perception of our game,”  NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wrote in a memo sent to all teams, which was obtained by The Associated Press. “With so much at stake, it is simply not acceptable for governors to be uninvolved or to defer decision-making authority on these matters to others in their organizations.”

Although I think that teams should not sit star players I do understand that there is more that goes into it. For example, Lebron is aging and he needs more rest than others, and it probably helps him out in the long run to be able to sit out a game here and there. Also, some players may be coming off recent injuries so it would help them to be able to sit out once or twice a in a stretch of games.