Silver said sitting big-name players is “an extremely significant issue for our league” and said that it will be a focus of the next Board of Governors meeting early next month. He also cautioned that teams could face “significant penalties” for not obeying the league’s rules about notifying the league and opposing teams when players will be unavailable.
Silver also implored team owners to get involved in decisions about when to rest players, according to Shelburne, saying that other members of organizations may not fully understand the impact on “fans and business partners” or the “perception of our game.”
Resting players for marquee games has been an issue in the NBA since Gregg Popovich began resting aging stars Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. The issue came to the forefront again last week when Steve Kerr opted to keep Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala on the bench for a game against the Spurs.
The Cavaliers also rested LeBron James, Kryie Irving and Kevin Love for a nationally televised game against the Clippers. Cleveland general manager David Griffin told Shelburne that the league quickly expressed displeasure with his decision to sit the players.