Lakers News: Rich Paul Not A Fan Of 65-Game Minimum For NBA Awards
Rich Paul
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Prior to the season, the NBA announced that they would be instituting a 65-game minimum for players to be eligible for any regular season awards. With many players across the league often sitting out games strictly for rest purposes and not due to injury, the NBA felt it necessary to add this rule.

The rule has had its supporters and detractors since the announcement, but one person who falls into the latter category is Klutch Sports founder and agent to Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, Rich Paul.

In a recent livestream with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Paul broke down why he doesn’t care for the rule, but feels the players put themselves in the position for this to happen:

“There’s no fair in business. So it’s a rule. It’s a rule that was voted on, it’s a rule that was voted on amongst the players’ union and the league. So here we are. They took a page out of the book of shoe contracts. When these shoe contracts are put out and a guy got this much money, it doesn’t tell you the language of that shoe contract. All shoe deals are prorated. You have to play a certain amount of games. If you miss a certain amount of games, your pay gets docked. That’s how it is.

“In this case, I don’t agree. But again, we’ve allowed ourselves to get to this point because there’s a fine line between health and I’m just gonna take the day off. These guys play a lot of basketball. They’ve been playing a lot of basketball. The young kids today play too much basketball. So that’s a direct affect on when they get to the NBA level, and again, here we go with that plane analogy, the landing. The landing. The landing. It’s a lot there. I don’t like the rule, no. I don’t like how players are affected by the rule, especially with the awards and All-NBA and things like that. But I also don’t like the All-NBA voting system because you got people that we don’t know why they’re voting for someone else, right? It’s just a lot there…

“But with all that being said, I think that we’ve put ourselves in this position. I don’t love the rule, you shouldn’t have to enforce a rule to get guys to get up and want to play. But some of it is health. There’s a lot of guys that love the game. There’s a lot of guys that play the game based upon what the game brings to them. If we did a survey, I don’t know who would tell the truth, but there’s a number there. And I’ve been around it all. I think that it’s a tough one. I don’t love it though, I don’t love it. But it’s a rule. In the case that someone gets injured, you don’t think that this guy wants to play and now he has to come back prematurely?”

As Paul noted, the NBA shouldn’t need to be a rule enforced in order to get players to play, but ultimately the rule is here and so everyone must go along with it. But even though he doesn’t agree with the rule, Paul does feel those who play all season long should be rewarded:

“You shouldn’t be able to play half a season and win MVP. You shouldn’t be able to play half a season, there has to be a reward for presence. Just like in school, there was a reward for perfect attendance. There was a reward for that. So I think there should be some type of accountability there, but there also should be some type of amendment to the side, a side letter or something if it helps. Because look, guys get injured.

“So you mean to tell me this guy played 60 games straight and then he has an injury, but he’s been this unbelievable player for 60 games, but because he had an injury out of his control, (you’re gonna penalize him)? There’s certain situations like that that we should be able to go back to the magistrate or whatever the case may be and vote on this. It should just be that’s the end-all, be-all. You should be able to challenge that rule in some aspect.”

Paul makes some reasonable points on this rule, especially if someone is really close to that minimum but a serious injury ends his season. If that player was still deserving of an individual award or All-NBA spot, the NBA could make an exception.

Something like that probably wouldn’t happen until the NBA is faced with a situation like that and by then it will be too late for the player. But as Paul said, it is a rule now and it will be up to the players to adjust to what the NBA has put out.

Rich Paul trying not to think about Lakers’ LeBron James retiring from NBA

Of course Rich Paul’s top client, Lakers star LeBron James, is on pace to hit that 65-game requirement in his 21st NBA season. What’s unclear, however, is how much longer LeBron will keep playing, something Paul doesn’t like to think about.

Paul recently revealed that the thought of the greats of the NBA no longer playing is something that makes him sad and he likes to keep his energy up. Paul added that at this point LeBron is playing because he loves the game of basketball and will keep doing so until that is no longer the case.

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