In response to the growing trend of NBA teams choosing to rest their biggest stars - a practice that has recently ruined multiple marquee matchups on national television - NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a memo warning that teams could face "significant penalties" if they don't adhere to league protocol.
Colin Cowherd reacted to Silver's memo on Tuesday's episode of The Herd, and disputed Silver's assertion that the debate over rest is a matter of "science." You can watch the segment here.
Cowherd: "Strategic rest" is a protest of the league
“The NBA’s got a big problem on its hands because stars are sitting - and they’re sitting not just one guy, but like three or four stars. Cavs, Warriors, Spurs are all sitting, and they’re sitting out of TV games.
And I’ve said before, this is a protest by NBA players and coaches. I believe it has to do with the travel. I believe that the Warriors - the NBA is so top-heavy, and they just signed this massive contract, that the networks like TNT that have to pay [1.2] billion a year are saying ‘give us the best teams.’ And so they’re monkeying with the NBA schedule, and the Warriors’ travel schedule and the Cavs’ travel schedule is as bad as I’ve ever seen it.
In fact, the Warriors are going to be on national TV before the playoffs 28 times. The Chicago Bulls were not on television half that in the Jordan years. They’d be on regular season TV 14 times, they’ve got the Warriors on almost 30! And the Warriors, Cavs and the Spurs are pushing back at the league.”
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Cowherd: Adam Silver says it's a science issue, but it's more about the money
“But it’s interesting because I read Adam Silver’s quotes the other day. He’s the commissioner of the NBA, and one of his quotes was ‘this is not an easy solution.The science’ - remember that word - ‘the science has gotten to the point where there is that direct correlation we’re aware of between fatigue and injuries.’
So it’s a science issue, is it? Well you do get the science for football is you shouldn’t play 16 games and also four exhibition games, but they do. You get the science is that hockey players have the same travel schedule, but with more fighting and violence. You do get the science says nobody should run a marathon, yet they had one in L.A. this weekend. They’re not good for your body.
The science says you should never eat sugar or flour or fast-food. Drive up and down your city’s streets. It’s everywhere.”
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Cowherd: Inflated TV rights deals have wreaked havoc on the schedule
“We don’t live by science. Science tells us to do and not do a lot of things. If we regulated out country through science, there would be no beer allowed, no vodka, no bourbon. Maybe a little wine.
We would have no fast-food at all. We would have no sugar or flour. And we would not put out bodies through what we put our bodies through. We would not send our kids to war if we had a society based solely on science. We would not have high school, college or professional football.
This is not a science problem, folks. Adam Silver’s wrong. It’s a math problem - that my former employer and TNT spent [$2.6] billion a year, tripling their current NBA rights deal. Ain’t a science thing, it’s a math thing. And so the networks are saying ‘alright, you’re making us pay three times this, we want the best teams.’
And the NBA is now putting the Warriors and the Cavs and the exciting teams on over and over - and the teams are pushing back.”