NBA has a LeBron James exemption for new rest rules
The NBA is passing new rules to curb all the “load management” that has seeped into the league over the last decade and become a serious problem in recent years, though they are granting some exceptions.
Under the new concept of “load management,” teams have been resting players even when they are healthy simply to prevent them from being overworked. Teams have even shut down healthy players when they are out of contention towards the end of season.
The result has been a worsening product on the court, and some major frustration among fans who buy tickets/spend money and time to watch games where their favorite players are not participating.
The league’s new rule includes several stipulations to ensure greater participation among star players, and to avoid having games where multiple star players sit out despite being healthy.
The league will have some flexibility with this policy and grant exemptions.
According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the NBA will allow exemptions for older, accomplished “star” players.
Marks wrote Wednesday that the NBA will “allow pre-approved designated back-to-back allowances for players who are 35 years old on opening night or have career workloads of 34,000 regular-season minutes or 1,000 regular-season and playoff games combined.”
Seven veteran star players would qualify for this exemption, including of course, LeBron James. The other players who would qualify for this exemption include: Chris Paul, Mike Conley, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan and James Harden.
Though there are other active players who meet the above criteria, they do not qualify as a “star” player, which is to whom these rules apply.
The NBA wants to ensure its All-Stars and All-NBA players are playing in games, not watching them. But they are mindful of trying to help the older players extend their careers.