Opinion: Resting NBA starters: the most exhausting discussion in sports

Matt Poe

It was a hell of a busy last few days for news coverage, so let’s briefly touch on what occurred in that bright, optimistic world of ours:

FBI Director James Comey officially announced an investigation on President Dingus and possible ties to Russia. Congratulations on finally doing your job, James. Remember when you pulled that stunt to reopen the email investigation of Hillary Clinton just days before the election? Glad to see you had your priorities straight!

Also, Neil Gorsuch is having confirmation hearings to become the newest Supreme Court justice.

Anyway, let’s talk about something more optimistic like North Korea.

Yes, tensions continue to mount between the U.S. and its allies against notable looney man Kim Jong-Un and his government. Secretary of State and member of the incompetency tribe Rex Tillerson traveled to Asia to meet with various leaders and addressed the current situation. What’s that, Rex? Diplomacy has failed and a preemptive strike is an option on the table? What an awful, no good, terrible, very bad idea that is!

All that being said, let’s shift the focus of this column to the unequivocally most important news and conversation of the week: NBA teams resting their star players.

It seems this asinine conversation is reignited every year at some point during the season, and this time it comes courtesy of the Cavaliers resting Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in Saturday’s primetime game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Needless to say, the Cavs got their asses handed to them in that game without the trio playing.

The debate for resting these starters goes as such: The NBA season is too long, and star players need the down time.

And every year, talking heads and know-it-alls like myself believe we have the solution to this incredibly important topic, such as shortening the season by anywhere from five to 10 games. Another option is having teams pay fines or receive punishments for resting players who aren’t resting because of injuries.

NBA fans and ticket holders suffer when teams decide to rest these star players because, as anyone who has ever shelled out the money to attend professional sports knows tickets and going to games aren’t cheap.

Networks like ESPN who pay almost $3 billion for television rights to broadcast NBA games also suffer because no one wants to tune into see Tristian Thompson collect rebounds when they’re being deprived of Kyrie Irving breaking ankles. And team owners and executives will never cut down on the amount of games because that’s less money in their already fat pockets.

All Monday and Tuesday I had to listen to sports radio hosts talk at absurd lengths about this topic. Even Dan Patrick, my lord and savior, devoted way too much time to this debate. In reality, it’s not much of a debate, and I have a perfect solution to this epidemic plaguing our sports society. My apologies for sounding like I aged 40 years and became ultra-crotchety during this take, but here we go.

Just play the damn game. There’s no reasons these guys can’t show up and play if they’re healthy. All it would take is limiting minutes of certain players during the course of the game to ensure they can play if healthy. It’s not rocket science, for God’s sake.

Hockey players play the same amount of games in a season (82) as the NBA guys do, and you’ll never find Patrick Kane or Connor McDavid sitting out a game for rest. Have you ever watched a hockey game? The toll it takes on the body is much greater than anything in the NBA. The NHL guys play every night because they’re gritty and love the game – not just the fame, money and women that come along with it.

OK, that’s a little facetious but whatever.

So as a world-class athlete myself, I am begging all of us to put an end to this conversation because, aside from shortening the season, there’s no logical solution to it. Listen up Lebron: You need to man up and get the hell on the court for my entertainment.

This isn’t about you resting and being healthy to win more championships. This is about me having something to watch while I drink beer. Appease me, dammit!

Matt Poe is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].