NBA Announces New Relaxed Rest Rule

Jake Cooper | 09 Dec 2020

nba basketballThe NBA has now laid out its player policies for the upcoming 2020-21 season, and resting is once again high up on the agenda. According to the latest announcement, the league has signed off on relaxed resting policies for players like LeBron James and Jimmy Butler, who both played all the way up until October in the run-up to the shortest offseason in the history of the NBA. 

Resting marquee players has long been a controversial topic within the NBA. Since basketball fans are typically drawn to players first and teams second, it’s a sport that’s long been considered a “player’s league”. When fans and broadcasters pay to see and showcase high-profile players in action, the last thing they want is a Los Angeles Lakers setup without LeBron James or a Miami Heat without star drawcard Jimmy Butler. 

The Terms And Conditions

According to the league’s latest memo, teams and players will have to meet specific conditions in order to qualify for the resting of a player. These include teams playing back-to-back games, players who filled a leading role on a team that played deep into this year’s Playoffs, and any player not yet back to full strength after recovering from the after-effects of viral infection.

Factors to be taken into account include the history of injuries, the age of the player to be rested, recovery from infection, and the season as well as career workload of that player. Scheduling issues may also be factored into the consideration.

James Does A Turn-Around

James himself seems to have adopted a different approach to his prior standing on the matter of resting high-profile players.

The 36-year-old previously made a big deal of only sitting out when not in good health. He now seems to have changed his opinion to a willingness to listen to whatever the coaches decide is best.

Teams violating the NBA’s resting policies applicable to nationally televised games were previously fined at least $100,000 per incident. The general feeling has traditionally been one of honouring players and broadcasters for their role played in promoting the sport.

Fans cannot be blamed for wanting to see their favourite players – and neither can television broadcasters for wanting to get value for their money. Nobody likes to be snubbed without fair warning, and it remains to be seen how the masses are going to respond to the latest controversial announcement.