The Cleveland Cavaliers visted Los Angeles over the weekend for back-to-back games against the Clippers and Lakers, but the Cavs essentially waved a white flag on Saturday against the superior of the two teams, choosing to sit LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in a game that was nationally televised.
It was far from the first prominent regular-season game to be ruined by "rest," and though both Irving and Love are dealing with injuries, James said afterward that he wants to play every game.
On Monday's episode of "Speak For Yourself," Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock, Chris Broussard and Cris Carter reacted to the dilemma facing the NBA, and Charles Barkley's suggestion that NBA fans should boycott for a week.
Charles Barkley: NBA fans should boycott
“I’m so old I flew coach and played back-to-back games. These guys are flying private, getting a great night’s sleep, getting a great meal. And they’re making 20, 30 million dollars. And they can’t play a couple basketball games?
"This is ridiculous, man. ... I hope at some point the fans all get together and say, ‘You know what we’re gonna do? We’re not going to go to any games for a week, and we’re not going to watch any games on television for a week. I think if the fans hit back. it’d be great.”
Colin Cowherd: Adam Silver needs to draw a line
“Management is never powerless. Ours isn’t, theirs isn’t. It’s called fines, suspensions.
"Are you going to tell me the NBA changed the basketball, changed the dress code and forces them to talk at a press conference, [yet] they can’t do anything about this?
"This comes back to Adam Silver. When Adam Silver got the job, there was a concern that he was too cuddly with players. Goodell, David Stern, more old school. The knock on Silver was ‘he’s cozy with the players.’
"Adam Silver needs to draw a line because to me, what they’re doing is really disrespectful to the commissioner.”
Kirby LeeKirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Whitlock: The players should give up money if they want to play fewer games
“It’s dangerous. These young guys that don’t understand where the NBA came from, don’t remember the ‘70s when it wasn’t on [TV], the NBA Finals weren’t even on TV. And the reputation of black NBA players was horrible. ‘Lazy, on drugs.’
"You’ve got Charles Barkley, used to fly coach at his size, play back-to-backs. … If the science says you can’t play 82, let’s go to 72. What, is that a 15 percent reduction in the schedule? Take 15 percent from the players’ revenue, and now let’s play 72.”
David RichardDavid Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Broussard: The fans have the power to make a change
"That’s what I don’t like, [that] they’re being hypocritical. They want 82-game money, but they’re saying 82 games is really too much.
"We didn’t have the science back then when Michael Jordan and all these players played 82 games a year. You know what? We didn’t have the science in 1967, when the NBA made it an 82-game schedule. Maybe we were wrong back then. Maybe it should just be 60, 65, whatever, and let’s bring the pay down.
"I actually love what Barkley said. I don’t think, as much as you’re right about Adam Silver, I think it would be very difficult to legislate this. Because if you say you’re going to take a paycheck, like LeBron sat out Saturday night [when] he was healthy. You’re going to take that paycheck from him? Well they’ll just lie and say he had an upper respiratory infection, or something that you can’t really prove he wasn’t injured.
"The people with the power are the fans, and if they do what Barkley said, the players will wise up and start playing.”
Gary A. VasquezGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Cris Carter: Opposing fans should work together to send a message
“If fans consciously get [involved] … and this is what it would take. It would take the visiting fans and the home fans. It would take the Cavs fans and the Clippers fans. After they go for the jump ball, fans to walk out of the game.
"Now, if they performed a protest together, nationwide, you would see some changes made.”