The center of the sports world has been revolving around the NBA the last several days and more specifically: Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On Saturday night, the Cavs were in Los Angeles to face the Clippers on a primetime matinee on ABC.
The team made the decision to sit Lebron along with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to get some rest. With the “Big 3” out, the Clippers blew out the Cavs 108-78.
During the broadcast, former NBA coach and now commentator Jeff Van Gundy blasted the organization for doing this on a primetime game where millions of fans would be watching to see James, Irving and Love battle Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.
It has now turned into a national story with radio shows like “Mike and Mike” and “The Herd” offering their opinions on the situation.
I get both sides of the on-going situation especially from the fans and the media side of it. Fans pay their hard earned money to go to NBA games, sometimes up to thousands of dollars when teams with superstars like Lebron James or Stephen Curry come to opposing fans’ towns. If they don’t play, fans will feel like this isn’t worth what they paid for.
Lebron James deserves the rest he gets when he’s given the night off. He’s played in 14 NBA seasons and has logged some serious minutes during his career.
He’ll be well over 50,000 minutes by the time the regular season and postseason comes to an end. He just turned 32 years old and who knows how long he’ll play, he’s in great shape physically and hasn’t had a major injury during his career. However, he’s had some back problems over the last several seasons and you could see the toll the playoffs took on him physically and mentally at the end.
If he wants to have a night off on a back to back, why not let him have it. That goes for Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving too. I would think the NBA would love to have their superstars at full strength when the playoffs begin and all the way through the NBA Finals.
Love just returned last week after his knee surgery, I don’t believe he’s medically cleared for back to back games just yet despite being on a minute restriction. Irving suffered some tightness in his knee that he fractured in the 2015 NBA Finals the game before the Clippers matchup, his sitting out was justified.
I think it’s funny that Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has been resting his stars for years, helping extend their championship window and extended Tim Duncan’s career a few more years. Something was said once I believe to Popovich but he continued to do it and still does it to this day.
A week prior to the Cavs/Clippers game, the Spurs and the Warriors were the Saturday night matchup. The Warriors sat Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala and the Spurs sat Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker. Nothing was said by the media or the NBA for this.
Of course nothing’s ever said when everyone else in the league does things that are frowned upon but when Lebron James does it, the media heckles him for days and weeks on end. .