Karl Malone’s response to Cavs resting Big Three: ‘Get your (expletive) playing’

UPDATE: No surprise, Karl Malone’s Utah Jazz running mate agrees with him on the duty to play every night. 

“Fair or unfair, it’s just what I believe in,” John Stockton told the Salt Lake Tribune this week. “People pay to see their favorites. People pay to see guys. They pay to have the best competition you can put on the court on a given night.

“If you’re hurt, that’s one thing. Anything short of that — you can say science, you can say championships, you can say whatever. I think we have a duty to be present and lay our best out there every night.”

Stockton played all 82 games in 16 of his 19 seasons.

The Cleveland Cavaliers rested their Big Three on Saturday night in a 108-78 loss to the Clippers, prompting protests from frustrated fans and former players.

Among those was Hall of Famer Karl Malone, who had a strongly worded message for players who pick rest over performing.

The Cavs chose to keep Kevin Love, who’s on a minutes restriction after returning from a knee injury, from playing in back-to-back games, and held out Kyrie Irving because he hurt a knee Thursday night. With those two out, they opted to give LeBron James the night off, too.

Cavs GM David Griffin told ABC’s Lisa Salters that he sympathized with fans who paid to see the stars, however the team was looking out for its fans by trying to keep the Big Three rested and healthy.

But ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy questioned why the Cavs chose to rest their stars in Saturday’s nationally televised game — one week after the Warriors did the same thing at San Antonio — instead of Sunday’s game against the lowly Lakers.

And for those like Malone, the idea of resting at any point during the season just doesn’t fly.