The LA Clippers benefited from Cleveland resting its Big Three in a 108-78 laugher Saturday night at the Staples Center, and Doc Rivers it was “not cool” that fans paid but missed out on seeing LeBron James play.
The Cavs’ front-office also got an earful from the higher ups at the NBA for sitting out their marquee players during a nationally-televised game.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) March 19, 2017
Rivers suggested a scheduling change around national TV affairs to ensure that stars play as much as possible.
Per the AP:
“There is a fan base that probably bought tickets tonight to see LeBron James play for the first time,” said Rivers, who rested (Blake) Griffin on Thursday. “They didn’t get a chance to see that, and that’s not cool.”
The crowd hated (Tyronn) Lue’s decision, reacting with confusion when the starting lineups were announced and then booing James when he joined the Cavs on the bench early in the first quarter. “We Want LeBron!” chants were taken up by much of the crowd on several occasions.
“I heard,” Lue said. “I wanted him, too.”
“It’s a long season, and a lot of games,” Lue said. “We have a lot of back-to-back games. Everybody has. Four in five nights are tough. Five in seven are tough. … But it’s been going on for years. It’s not the first time we’ve done it. I think coaches are taking responsibility, trying to look after their players, make sure they get the proper rest.”