Resting NBA Players Borders on Consumer Fraud

The criticism has come from everywhere.

This terrible trend of resting star players during the season isn’t playing well across NBA America.

And with good reason. It’s not fair to fans who have paid their hard-earned money to see the star players play. Instead, they are left holding the bag.

At first, players and coaches could dismiss the flack by the media and fans as simply that we don’t know what we’re talking about. We didn’t play. We don’t understand

Enter Karl Malone and Charles Barkley. Both Hall of Famers aren’t buying it, either.

“I’ve been in the NBA for over 30 years and all of a sudden now with better shoes, private jets, all this stuff they got, now all of a sudden they worried about getting hurt,” Barkley said in a radio interview. “I think it’s a joke.”

In a week’s time, there were two games that really bothered fans. On a Saturday night primetime Game on ABC two weeks ago, both the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs rested their key players.

This past Saturday, the Cleveland Cavs rested their big guns – including LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love – against the L.A. Clippers in what would turn out to be a blowout loss for Cleveland on the road.

Here’s what Malone said in a Tweet after that debacle. “If you don’t have at least 10 years experience, get your ass playing. It’s not work, it’s called playing.”

Let’s not forget that Malone, the former Utah Jazz star, didn’t miss a game due to injury from 1985-2003.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has to stop this – fine a player a game check and the organization ten times that same amount for resting players not injured. Take loot away and this wouldn’t happen at all.

A few years ago, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich rested his Big three stars and his star fifth man in a big game on the road against the Miami Heat.

Then-commissioner David Stern fined the team $250,000. Even that’s not enough, a drop in the bucket for cash-rich NBA teams.

Plus, it does nothing for the fans who were burnt.

Fans should put pressure on Silver and demand he stops this practice that kills the fans trust in the league.

And don’t say it was always like this because it wasn’t. Players wanted to play and never asked for rest. Not even the greatest players.

Michael Jordan, arguably the best NBA player of all-time, never cheated the fans. He played in all 82 games in nine of his 13 seasons. Even in his final NBA season in 2002-’03, at age 39, MJ played in all 82 games. In fact, the fewest games he ever played in a non-injury season was 78.

This new trend is simply another way of babying players and giving them a game-check for not working.

Attorney generals in all NBA cities should be put on alert and allow fans to seek refunds. The way things are right now, it’s just not fair. It borders on consumer fraud.

Even on Broadway, you can get a refund or tickets to another performance if the star of the show isn’t working that night.

NBA fans have to do something, make the players and league pay for its disrespect for fans and their money.

Back in December, I thought fans would have sent a great message if they didn’t show up for the All-Star Game. Tell players they are taking a rest from the grind of being bilked out of cash and not being delivered the goods.

On Monday, Barkley agreed that a fan boycott would send a message.

“I hope at some point the fans get together and say, ‘You know what we’re going do? We’re not going to go to any games for a week and we’re not going watch any games on television for a week. I think if the fans hit back, it would be great.”

Can you imagine rest days in the NFL, sitting star players? It would never happen. In MLB, where players have 162 games, managers often have to force a player to take a game off. And even on those days, they still might wind up pinch hitting late in the game.

NBA’s rest days for players simply stink. Even a former star player would tell you that.

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