ESPN's Richard Jefferson weighed in passionately on the NBA's load management issues, recalling a story from his youth. Jan 20, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) before the game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Warriors at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The issue of “load management” has become a hot-button issue in the NBA in recent seasons. On Thursday, longtime NBA player and current NBA analyst, Richard Jefferson of ESPN, weighed in on the matter.

Jefferson recalled coming into the league where every team had one trainer and lacked the modern amenities like traveling masseuses, cold tubs and hot tubs.

More importantly, he also recalled growing up in a house without great financial means. One year, his Christmas present was a ticket to go see his favorite player, David Robinson. His family could not afford a second ticket, so Jefferson was dropped off at the game, watched by himself and picked up later. He also remembered how much that moment meant to him when, years later, Jefferson got to play against Robinson in Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals, Robinson’s final game.

“So I take that responsibility and say, wait, we can’t just gloss over this,” Jefferson said. “And I blame the teams. I blame the training staffs. Because the players in this generation are doing more of what they are told, then going out there and leaving it all out on the floor.”

Jefferson later retweeted the video. He re-emphasized that the responsibility for load management games lies with the “owners, coaches and training staffs.”

His comments drew a lot of support from basketball fans.

What’s interesting is that virtually everyone agrees that the issue of load management is a serious one. The Golden State Warriors recently sat stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Coach Steve Kerr was sympathetic to the paying fans, but said that the answer is a shorter season.

Whether Kerr’s solution is the right one is debatable. A shorter season would also less revenue for everyone. That would undoubtedly be a major sticking point for all parties involved.

But regardless of what one thinks the right solution is, it’s ultimately hard to dispute Jefferson’s argument that something needs to be changed.

[NBA on ESPN on Twitter]

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