Steve Kerr doesn’t like resting his players either.
The Golden State Warriors coach opted to rest several of his starters in Friday night’s 120-114 win against the Cavaliers in Cleveland — something many in the league have been trying to stop teams from doing in recent years.
But, considering they played on Thursday night, Kerr decided to rest Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins. With where they’re at in the season, and with Curry coming off a shoulder injury, there’s no need to push his stars to play and risk them getting hurt.
While it’s not something anyone likes to see, Kerr does have a solution.
He wants the schedule to be cut down by 10 games.
“I feel terrible for fans who buy tickets who are expecting to see someone play and they don’t get to see that person play,” Kerr said, via The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “It’s a brutal part of the business. It’s why I’m going to continue to advocate for 72-game seasons.”
Steve Kerr on the Warriors sitting their big names in Cleveland tonight
“I feel terrible for fans who bought a ticket expecting to see someone play. It’s a brutal part of the business. It’s why I’m going to continue to advocate for 72-game seasons.”
Full soundbite pic.twitter.com/P0ZGbv1DNE
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 20, 2023
Now, this isn’t a new idea. It’s one that’s been floated in the past, though it would hurt teams’ revenue — which makes it a tough thing to convince team owners to get behind. The benefit, as Kerr noted, is that there would be fewer opportunities for players to get hurt. Games could be better spaced out, and the league could even eliminate back-to-back games entirely.
And, Kerr said, teams are kind of over the season when there are about 10 games left anyway.
“You take 10 games off the schedule, it always feels like with 10 games left in the year everybody’s sort of had it anyways,” Kerr said, via The Associated Press. “That creates enough rest where we don't have to have some of these crazy situations. I think you’d see way fewer games missed from players.”
Kerr isn’t alone in his thinking, either.
Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff was right with him. Not only could it keep players from missing games in a single season, but it could significantly extend their careers.
"You look at these guys and they're playing 15 years to some guys 20 years," Bickerstaff said, via The Associated Press. "So it's a trade off of five games a season and you get five more years of these guys playing. So I think in the long run, the fans get their money's worth because guys do get to extend their career and play more years.
"I know from our standpoint where you only get to see a team once a year. I know that can be frustrating for fans if those guys don't play but I do think for the greater good of the game, getting these superstars and elite players for multiple years and multiple more seasons, I think is only good for the game."