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#pounditTuesday, December 1, 2020

Gregg Popovich: Owners interfering in player rest is ‘slippery slope’

Gregg Popovich

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was pretty much the first to rest his players while healthy to keep them fresh, and he is chiming in on the NBA’s growing annoyance with the trend.

After commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to all 30 teams saying owners should be heavily involved in rest-related decisions, Popovich said he understood where the league was coming from, but said it was a slippery slope to go down.

“I understand Adam’s concern, and it’s a legitimate concern. We all have it. We all feel badly about [it],” Popovich said Saturday, via Michael C. Wright of ESPN. “I think they used the example of the young man and his dad or whatever. They’ve saved up their money. They want to go see somebody play, and that person’s not there. I get it. If it was me, I’d be miffed myself. But we all have different roles, different jobs, and different goals. We can’t satisfy everybody. But I think that every owner’s gonna be different. I think it’s a slippery slope, and makes it difficult to keep trust, and camaraderie to the degree that I think you have to have to be successful in this league if owners get too involved in what coaches and GMs are doing.”

The NBA has made its displeasure clear about when teams rest players, particularly for nationally televised contests. Popovich is never going to apologize for it, and he’s probably right that owners sticking their noses in isn’t the optimal solution.

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