NBA to vote on imposing larger fines for resting high-profile players


The NBA’s Competition Committee is advocating for harsher penalties and stricter guidelines on resting players for nationally televised games, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The league’s Board of Governors is expected to vote Wednesday to pass the measures.

Under these new rules, NBA teams would be fined $100,000 for a first violation, $250,000 for a second violation, and $1 million more than the previous penalty for each additional violation, according to multiple sources. Playoff teams are notorious for resting star players in the final week of the regular season.

Each team will not be allowed to rest two star players in the same game (e.g., Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis). NBA insiders are reporting that several league discussions over the past few years have centered around stars playing more and limiting load management.

“Under current discussions among team and league personnel, a star is defined by someone who’s made an All-Star or All-NBA team in the past three seasons, sources said,” Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

NBA to vote on sanctioning teams with larger fines for resting star players for high-profile, nationally televised games; each team will be ineligible to rest two superstar players in the same game

So, what are the exceptions to this new rule? Injuries are the most logical excuse. Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard came off the bench his first two games of the 2022-23 regular season. This tactic was used to “manage his minutes.”

If two superstar players on the same team sustain at least minor injuries, the team will avoid penalties for resting them in the same games. This all depends on whether or not the NBA is considering the severity of the injuries.

Leonard, a five-time All-Star, was excited to finally play with his teammates again. In 21 minutes as a reserve in the Clippers’ 103-97 season-opener win over the Lakers, Leonard finished his performance with 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

“I waited 82 games last year, so I didn’t think 15 minutes would be that long,” said Leonard. “This is how I started my career. Act like I was in foul trouble and once I check in the second quarter, it’s time to play basketball.”

Leonard missed the entire 2021-22 season due to an ACL injury. Last October, the Clippers announced that head coach Tyronn Lue would consider managing Leonard’s minutes. For Leonard’s case, he should be excused under the new rules. Paul George’s right leg injury, which he sustained last season, is another example.

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