If you were one of the folks in attendance during Saturday night’s Warriors-Spurs game or
if you were one of the ones who were watching the nationally-televised game on ABC,you’ve got to be feeling pretty gypped,am I right?
Saturday’s game, a 107-85 San Antonio win,featured almost nobody recognizable in terms of star power. The Spurs are dealing with numerous injuries to key players such as Kawhi Leonard (concussion protocol), Tony Parker (back tightness,probably due to him being old), and LaMarcus Aldridge (heart arrhythmia). The Warriors,who are missing Kevin Durant to a knee injury and who have been struggling as of late, decided to rest the remaining three healthy All-Stars and forward Andre Iguodala.
The result was yet another loss for Golden State and a loss for fans who came to see the marquee stars play. Instead,they were treated to back-ups and no-names.
“I just think it takes away from it because we are here to see all the players,” said Mary Lou Mahone, a Spurs fan, who flew to Corpus Christi, Texas, from Sacramento, Calif., on Friday, before making the drive to San Antonio with her husband, Louis, a Warriors fan,to ESPN. “It’s kind of disappointing when you don’t get to see everybody. Is LaMarcus [Aldridge] even gonna be here?”
“I genuinely feel bad for the fans who bought tickets,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game
Kerr’s statement right there is downright atrocious. He didn’t have to rest these guys at all. If anything,he caused the problem for these fans who expected to see his guys play and caused the league to have a showcase game on national television with no star power headlining it.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver echoed Kerr’s comments in a previous statement, “I’m sympathetic to fans who turn out — whether they buy tickets to games or watching games on television and don’t see their favorite player on the floor.”
He adds, “We also have to be realistic that the science has gotten to the point where there is that direct correlation that we’re aware of between fatigue and injuries. And as tough as it is on our fans to miss one of their favorite players for a game, it’s far better than having them get injured and be out for long periods of time. So we’re always still looking to strike that right balance.”
I get it,the Warriors have been on a brutal road trip which included back-to-back games,which Saturday’s game was for them,but I’m of the mindset that you play your best guys on the floor in order to win games,and this game should’ve been a must-win for Golden State in order to maintain the top seed in the Western Conference.
Usually,I get on Spurs coach Gregg Popovich for doing this,too,partly because he invented this epidemic, but he’s off the hook on for this one because of how banged up his team is and has been. Also,his team has been winning despite not having Aldridge and Leonard in the line-up the past few games. Golden State has been struggling since Durant’s injury.
So,what can be done to prevent teams from doing this? Well,I think you start with the league adding more days to the season,which I think can be done,but you have to work with other leagues such as the NHL and other events such as concerts who also use the same buildings as these teams. I’m sure there have been harder puzzles to figure out than this,and it looks like they’ve made strides to alleviate the issue by starting the season a week earlier next year.
I think that if a team has a marquee game such as Saturday’s, both teams should have the prior day off,that way if you have a star player who isn’t hurt on the floor,he’s more rested and ready to go and that the home fans who saved up so they could go to one game this season are able to see the visiting team at their absolute best.
I think the fans can also send a message to the league about this issue by staying home. Yes,I hate seeing tickets to go waste,but if the league wants to have this not be an issue anymore,all they need to do is turn on ABC and see empty seats.
The bottom line for me is that if you’re healthy,you’re playing. That’s it!