Durant: Resting controversy 'only for a couple of players'

By Alec Brzezinski 31 March 2017 209
Durant: Resting controversy 'only for a couple of players'

Kevin Durant believes the uproar surrounding players resting only applies when five of the NBA's top players sit out.

The issue of teams resting stars has come into focus again in recent weeks, with the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers both receiving criticism for leaving out stars such as Stephen Curry and LeBron James for games on national TV.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver reportedly sent a memo to teams, warning them that they could face "significant penalties" for not meeting rules surrounding notifying the league and opponents when players will be unavailable.

But Warriors star forward Durant, who remains on the sidelines with a knee injury, is firmly against the idea of teams being punished for resting players.

"The truth about it is, it's only for a couple of players in the league," Durant told ESPN.com. "They don't care if the 13th man on the bench rests. 

"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. 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 is irked by the contenders receiving the brunt of the criticism when he feels teams at the bottom of the standings rest players as well.

"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."

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Alec Brzezinski