NBA To Investigate Players Sitting at the End of the Season

Matt KnowlesContributor IApril 15, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 11:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts to a call during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 11, 2010 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

As the NBA regular season comes to an end, it has been announced that the NBA is going to investigate healthy players sitting out games in order to rest for the upcoming playoff schedule. 

I may be wrong, but I do not recall such uproar in previous years over players resting heading into the playoffs.  The fans discontent seems to stem from the fact that Cleveland Cavalier star LeBron James has ditched his jersey and shorts for a suit the final four games of their regular season. 

By all reports, James is perfectly healthy and he is sitting out games just to rest for the playoffs.

The fans argue that if they are going to spend all the money it costs to go see an NBA game, their teams should be doing everything possible to win that game.  It’s undeniable that the Cavs give themselves the best chance to win games with a healthy LeBron James on the floor.

Fans who have a problem with James' decision to rest point to Michael Jordan playing all 82 games during a run of three consecutive NBA championships despite having everything locked up heading into the final week of those three regular seasons.  People say MJ did it for the fans because he understood that they came to the games to see him play—much like the fans in Cleveland mostly go to see LeBron.

Maybe some of the Cavs fans should ask Portland if they wished their star player, Brandon Roy, could have rested the last couple games of the regular season.  Instead, the Trail Blazers were fighting for a better seed in the Western Conference and were forced to play Roy down the stretch. 

With just two games left before the end of the regular season, Roy tore his meniscus in a game against the Lakers and is now very questionable for the playoffs.  Sure, the Trail Blazers are in the playoffs, but without a healthy Brandon Roy, who honestly thinks they can make a deep run?

Cleveland fans need to realize just how easy it is to get hurt playing basketball.  Sure, LeBron could go in and play 15 to 20 minutes for the final couple games of the year.  But is it worth it if only one bad fall, a rolled ankle, or a poke in the eye could end LeBron's season and the Cavs' hope for a title?

I understand the fans want to see competitive basketball, but let’s look at the four games that LeBron missed.  The Cavs did lose all four, but three of the four games were against playoff-bound teams.  And with the exception of the final game, which was played by bench players for the most part, the Cavs lost by no more than six points in any of those games.  The fans were not watching terrible basketball.

If you don’t like seeing LeBron on the bench, then as a fan you should know better than to buy tickets to the last week of the season.  Especially when you know there is a chance the Cavs could have everything locked up by then.

It’s not like basketball is the only sport in the world to rest their players heading into the playoffs.  It's done in football and baseball every single year and fans for the most part understand why. 

In the blink of an eye anyone could suffer a devastating injury, even if they are only on the court or field for a matter of minutes—Brandon Roy's injury occurred less than 12 minutes into the game.

I think it’s ridiculous for the NBA to looking into this "situation" at all.  It's the goal of every team heading into the season to win a championship.  If the coach thinks resting their star player for a couple games gives them the best chance to win, then no one outside of the team or organization should have any say in the matter.