One of the hottest topics amongst NBA fans and the league itself as a whole recently has been about resting players. While everyone has had an opinion on the subject, there's no one's opinion who may draw as much attention as one of the greatest players in history in Michael Jordan.
Jordan, who's currently the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, sounded off on the subject. It's not surprising, as we've recently seen the Golden State Warriors rest Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala in a huge nationally televised game. The San Antonio Spurs have also rested Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge quite a bit this season.
Finally, the Cleveland Cavaliers have never shied away from handing LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love some extra rest. The league hates it, the fans hate and obviously the players, well, they're just fine with it. But MJ? Nah, he has no interest in talking about, at least if you ask Hornets head coach Steve Clifford, per NBA.com.
"It’s easy for me because I’m working for an owner who doesn’t believe in (resting healthy players),’’ Clifford said of Jordan. “I also have an associate head coach who would kill me if I started doing that. The climate in this league has changed. This is 17 years (in the NBA) for me, but 17 years ago, nobody would have thought about sitting out of a game.’’
Clifford is not only talking about Jordan but also associate head coach Patrick Ewing, who was another player who spent plenty of time on the floor during his career and didn't receive many rest days. The three together believe that if a player is healthy, they'll be on the floor.
Orlando Magic v Charlotte Hornets
"I’ve had two or three dinners and conversations with (Jordan) and Patrick and they start talking about (resting players) and (Jordan) doesn’t understand it. Nor does Patrick,’’ Clifford added. "Their thing is, that’s why you play. You train all year to play those 82 games.’’
It's hard to disagree with Jordan, Ewing, and Clifford here, but unfortunately, this probably isn't going to help the whole deal. Time will tell, but don't expect to see any of the teams in the NBA not rest their key players down the home stretch, at least until the league finds a way to stop it from happening.
The change won't be happening this season, as the playoffs are just around the corner, but this offseason could feature some intriguing changes.