As more playoff-bound NBA teams begin to rest their best players in games they don’t feel they have to win, the takes about the practice are getting hotter and hotter.
On Sunday night, Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverly was asked about opponents resting players, and he pulled no punches. Via ESPN:
“I think that’s bulls—,” Beverley said after the Rockets’ 137-125 victory over theOklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. “I think that’s a disgrace to this league. I think that fans deserve better.
“I could care less about coaches asking players to rest or not. It’s up to you to play or not, and if you don’t, you’re disrespecting the game. And I don’t believe in disrespecting the game, because there was a time where I wasn’t playing in the NBA and I was trying to get here. So me resting, I feel like, is disrespecting me, disrespecting the name on the front of the jersey and disrespecting the name on the back of the jersey.”
Resting has become a hot topic lately as the Spurs, Warriors and Cavaliers have all sat their stars for no reason other than giving them a breather, sometimes even when they’re playing high-profile games on national television. Critics argue that such resting is unfair to fans and against the spirit of competition.
Beverley, a five-year veteran, has averaged 30.6 points a game this season for the Rockets, who are essentially locked into the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference. He has missed 11 games so far this season due to various injuries.
Beverley is not the first Houston player to speak out again resting. Last week, potential MVP James Harden was asked about the subject and replied that he’d never let his coach sideline him, saying “I’m a hooper. I just like to hoop.”
On Sunday, Beverley said he was grateful everyone on his team (including its superstar) was willing to play every day.
“We understand that it’s tough,” Beverley said. “We understand that you can’t play all 82, trust me, with injuries and all that. But if you’re feeling OK — a lot of people have been banged up, but if you’re feeling OK, then you should play. That’s what you get paid for. That’s what fans deserve. The fans definitely deserve that. That’s what the city deserves.
“I’m just happy that we’re in position where we’re fortunate to have a team that the main players, the second unit, 1 through 15, if they’re available to play, we play. That’s how our mindset is.”
It’s somewhat admirable that Beverley and Harden won’t sit. Hopefully it won’t catch up with them in the playoffs.