The NBA is not happy with teams resting their biggest stars (especially) during nationally-televised games, but Kevin Durant says the League is using a double-standard when it comes to its highest-profile players.
KD says the controversy over healthy players sitting games out is about a handful of superstars.
In ESPN exclusive with Kevin Durant on controversial rest issue, he refuses to hold back on a few double standards. https://t.co/mymr8QmLKx
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) March 30, 2017
KD also points out that terrible teams are tanking by putting their marquee guys in street clothes:
“The truth about it is, it’s only for a couple of players in the league,” Durant told ESPN. “They don’t care if the 13th man on the bench rest. It’s only for like LeBron [James], Steph [Curry], [James] Harden, Russell [Westbrook]. It’s only for like five players. So you want a rule just for those five players?”
“Players, if anything, need a mental break sometimes. And sorry, they’re human,” Durant told ESPN. “They go through so much every single day. There are so many obligations off the court that you don’t know about … family. … It might not be a physical break, it might just be a reset mentally, and I get that. And I also get if I was a fan and could afford to get tickets, and I’m circling LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook on my calendar, I would want to see them play live. I would be disappointed as well. I see it from the fans’ perspective and the players’ perspective. I’m caught right in the middle.”
Durant also questioned why there was an absence of outrage from the teams at the bottom that have implemented a similar “resting” tactic for longer periods of time, arguing top teams with star players shouldn’t be the only ones singled out. […] “It’s hard for you to just craft a rule out for the top players,” he said. “I’ve seen guys that’s not even in the playoffs resting, sitting out for the rest of the season. And it’s nothing against those guys. I’m not trying to bash them or anything. [Phoenix Suns center] Tyson Chandler is out. They got him sitting out for the rest of the year. I’m sure he wants to play, but they’re not saying anything about Tyson Chandler, so it’s hard for me to really talk about this. It’s not a league-wide rule. It’s not a league-wide concern. It’s only a concern for the top players.”