NBA Unveils New Multistep Plan To Crack Down On Load Management

NBA logo on basketball

Getty Image

The NBA has spent the past few years trying (and largely failing) to crack down on teams and players who’ve deployed what has been dubbed “load management” to reduce the wear and tear stars are subjected to over the course of a season. Now, the league is gearing up to roll out some of the biggest changes we’ve seen so far.

Load management is a somewhat controversial issue, as there are some pretty valid arguments for and against the strategy.

At first glance, it seems reasonable to allow players who want to maximize their longevity to rest even when they’re healthy enough to play—especially when the teams that sign their paychecks are willing to allow them to ride the bench (Derrick Rose asserts his career would’ve panned out differently if he’d gone that route more often).

With that said, Richard Jefferson shared a story from his childhood about the the impact the approach can have on fans who spend their hard-earned money to attend games under the assumption the best players will be on the court, and notable names including LeBron James and Charles Barkley have expressed their distaste for the concept of load management.

Of course, you also can’t ignore one of the biggest factors: the television ratings (and, in turn, money) that undoubtedly led to Adam Silver and the NBA attempting to force teams to start stars in major matchups in 2020.

Earlier this year, the league announced it was instituting a 65-game threshold for players who want to be eligible for awards including MVP and All-NBA honors, but it appears it’s not content with stopping there.

According to ESPN, the NBA is on the verge of approving a new set of rules that would apply to “star” players (defined as “someone who’s made the All-Star or All-NBA teams in any of the three previous seasons”) whose teams would face fines if they fail to abide by the new regulations.

The proposal would ban teams from resting more than one star per game, require them to play in nationally televised contests and the new in-season tournament, and incentivize them to ensure the any rest days on the road are balanced out by home games.

We’ll have to wait and see if the rules have the intended effect, but it’s pretty clear the NBA is done messing around.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.