“Out: Load Management.”
Is there any worse feeling than having tickets to an NBA game and then seeing those words next to your favorite player’s name just hours before the game stars?
Load management is a scourge that has spread across the NBA over the last decade as team’s due their best to protect their assets.
The issue has become so bad that the NBA began fining teams for resting otherwise healthy players in the past.
It’s understandable why teams do it. Players like LeBron James, Steph Curry and Joel Embiid are far more useful to their teams in the playoffs than they are for a random Tuesday night regular season game. But the designation doesn’t come without consequences.
The NBA is, first and foremost, a form of entertainment. And when paying customers aren’t getting what they paid to see, it’s bad for all involved. Just take Richard Jefferson’s story about his parents gifting him one San Antonio Spurs ticket for Christmas as a kid. Not giving fans what they paid to see is a good way lose said fans.
But it’s not always that simple, as Curry explained on Monday night.
Steph Curry Sets The Record Straight On Load Management
Curry put in a remarkable 38-point, 12-assist and eight-rebound performance in Golden State’s 128-120 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night.
The two-time NBA MVP has missed 15 of the Warriors’ 50 games this season due to a mix of both injuries and load management. But he says that it’s not always as simple as players just wanting to get a rest.
The Warriors have a Minnesota, Denver back-to-back coming up.
Steph Curry: "I campaign to play every game. That's the misconception about load management. It's never the player saying, 'Hey, I want to sit.'"
Does he anticipate being successful?
"I do, actually. I do." pic.twitter.com/8GwJNuSQyY
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 31, 2023
“I campaign to play every game,” Curry said. “That’s the misconception about load management and how it goes. It’s never the player that’s saying, ‘Hey, I want to sit.’ For all those people worried about that part of our league and all that, it’s usually not the player that’s going to the training staff and saying, ‘Hey, I don’t have it tonight.’ It’s usually the other way around and there’s a lot of science involved.” – via CBS Sports
Of course, the decision to sit out games is usually a collaborative effort. It involves players and coaches and doctors and trainer. And ultimately players being healthy for the playoffs is important. But as Kevin Durant and Stan Van Gundy recently pointed out, there needs to be some sort of compromise for the good of fans and the league.