Brooklyn gentrifiers got a raw deal Monday night. The Los Angeles Lakers are in New York back-to-back, which means that LeBron James and Anthony Davis only had to play one game. People who bought tickets to a Brooklyn Nets game got a shorter portion of load control. It’s the same end of the stick that visitors were stuck with during the last matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 20, when Stephen Curry and several other Warriors starters did not play.
Managing the workload is a problem for fans, especially when they want to see players in teams they only visit once a year. All NBA teams go on road trips, and during that period there will probably be one in a row on the schedule. Most stars don’t dress for both of those games. After the Warriors’ 128-120 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Curry reminded those who have trouble with the players rest so that the people in the jerseys and shorts do not decide when they will be out of the lineup.
Steph Curry on workload management
“I’m campaigning to play every game,” Curry said Media. “It’s a misconception about load management. It’s never the player who says, ‘Hey, I want to sit down.'”
That is certainly the message that Charles Barkley, Stephen A. Smith, Chris “mad dog” Russo, Mike Greenberg, or anyone who has a problem with players missing a few games where they might be healthy enough to play, should hear it. Barkley was most open recently when he said on Sirius XM radio NBA today that wants the owners “insert your foot [the players’] asses in this next CBA.”
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Sir Charles’ anger should not be directed at Curry or anyone else. The person making that call for the Warriors is director of health and performance David Taylor.
Draymond Green’s thoughts
“We have the best scientist in the game in Dave Taylor. Why should we ignore him?” Draymond Green told Fox Sports’ Rick Buecher. “There are guys who have played in this league who have tried to play all 82 games and can’t walk anymore. So toughness is what you make of it.”
Do people really believe that the four Warriors rookies met in private and decided not to play in Cleveland, or that Davis and James did the same on a flight to New York, or that Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan all decided not to play TNT Thursday night 2013?
These are decisions made by coaches, playing staff and coaching staff. People familiar with Larry Bird who fought him before he played 10 NBA seasons. They remember Barkley’s knee problems in the mid-nineties. Isiah Thomas broke the Achilles tendon hamstring in 1994 and retired after 13 seasons. Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles tendon in his 12th season, and averaged just under 30 points per game in his 14th.
Players’ careers are extended and championship windows remain open longer. The Warriors won their first title with Curry in 2015. and fifth championship 2022. Hell, San Antonio The Spurs won their first championship in 1999. and theirs fifth title 2014 Celtics fans loved watching Bird storm the stands every night looking for loose balls, but they probably would have preferred it if healthy in the early 1990s, and the Celtics competing against the Chicago Bulls for the NBA championship.
The NBA is tough and it gets more physically demanding every year. Players come with significant mileage on their bodies from rigorous schedules in AAU and foreign professional leagues. Now they fly to 29 other cities and have to defender Nikola Jokić on the break and in the racket.
For those buying individual NBA game tickets, yes, it will still be a disappointment when the management takes the best players, but things can be worse. It could be Denver Nuggets fan in Colorado. Your favorite team has the best record in the Western Conference, but like most cable subscribers in the country, you are an Xfinity customer and therefore do not have access to the channel where games are broadcast.
Business success will always be a priority over everyday consumer satisfaction. So those of you who buy tickets on the day of load management, feel free to fret. Just make sure you’re mad at the right people. The same decision makers other industries are enjoying record profits while your egg prices rise.