Lakers News: Rob Pelinka & Darvin Ham Discuss NBA’s New Resting Rules
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Load management has been utilized for countless seasons now and has arguably hurt the integrity of the NBA regular season.

The objective of the regular season for teams is to simply make it to the postseason healthy and that entails resting players. With the NBA being a business, commissioner Adam Silver needed to find a way to combat teams resting their star players.

Taking effect this season, the league has implemented a policy that prevents teams, without approval, from resting multiple star players in the same game on national TV. A star being defined as someone who was an All-NBA or All-Star selection in the previous three seasons.

The Los Angeles Lakers have two stars in LeBron Jame and Anthony Davis, although the former is exempt from the new rules as he enters his 21st NBA season. Regardless though, there are some adjustments to be made in terms of managing their workloads, and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka shared his thoughts on the new rules and what further steps the league can take to address this issue.

“I think we all know that we’re in a changing landscape when it comes to how consumers view live sports,” Pelinka said. “The networks, regional sports deals are all following the things that are the news and we collectively as an association, the NBA, we have to make sure we’re maximizing our product and we know our fans want the stars to play. I think that’s at the heart and spirit of new rules and it’s something that we support. I think in terms of players playing every game, one of the things that we’ve talked about, our competition committee, is can we eliminate back-to-backs. That’s something that we would support.

“Can we eliminate them completely? Can we make tweaks to the season to make it a little bit longer on both ends. There’s a lot of factors in those things. But I do think minimizing the number of back-to-backs will play into the getting rid of players taking games off or resting.”

This resting rule is centered around the NBA being able to put out a great product on a night-to-night basis so fans who spend hard-earned money to come see games to find out the big-name players are resting. That is the sentiment head coach Darvin Ham shared.

“At the end of the day, we’re in the business of basketball. It’s not amateur sports and the amount of money and resources that’s being poured into teams and those teams pouring into these players, the NBA, and I can’t blame them…Like, they want to put out a high-quality, consistent product. And so, I think it’s going to call for teams to really make sure they have their Ts crossed and their Is dotted. The fans, the people who pay the money that allows us to live these beautiful, wonderful lives, get what they paid their money to get, and that’s to see the elite superstars available often, on the TV, whether it’s on the internet, television, cable television, live or in the building, whatever. People pay their hard-earned money to see a top-shelf product. And so I understand it wholeheartedly and it’ll make it more fair and balanced, I think, cause not it’s like you got to have evidence if a guy is sitting out and you’re trying to be strategic and trying to set yourself up to lose a game here, win a game here, trying to navigate playoff position, or draft position, whatever the case may be.

“Now people really have to come out and be ready to show up and show out for the fans, first and foremost. These people are working regular jobs. We’ve been blessed. We’re in the top whatever percentile, one percentile, and these people that’s out here, the construction workers, the people that work in education, they are paying hard-earned money. These tickets are not cheap. The memorabilia, the gear, all of that is not cheap. So, the league wants their players, wants their product to be at an elite level and consistently shown and is consistently available. So, I can’t fault them for that.”

The NBA has been evolving the past few seasons, adding the Play-In Tournament, In-Season Tournament and now this new rule.

It will be intriguing to see how effective this combats load management and resting healthy players, but it definitely worth a shot to preserve the integrity of the game.

Ham: managing James’ workload will be ‘day-by-day deal’ for Lakers

Thankfully, due to the depth on the roster this season, the workload for James heading into his 21st season should be diminished. Turing 39-years-old at the end of December, Ham will manage the star on a ‘day-by-day deal’, constantly communicating about how James is feeling to ensure he stays healthy throughout the season/

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