NBA, We have a Problem

I went to a restaurant a few days ago and ordered an aged, prime ribeye. My wife and I hired a babysitter. We were really looking forward to a planned night out without the kids. When the waiter brought my steak, it wasn’t a steak at all. It was a hamburger. I asked the waiter what was going on and he said they didn’t have any ribeyes tonight, so I’d have to eat the hamburger. When I was given my bill, I was charged for the ribeye. Again, I asked him to explain. He said, those were the risks and I knew them when I ordered the ribeye.

So that didn’t happen, but I did go to the Spurs game Saturday night against the Pacers. I did not get what I ordered. The Spurs chose to rest Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, and Jakob Poeltl. I made arrangements to attend the game, paid for a ribeye, and was given a hamburger.

If a player is truly injured, then by all means sit him and let him rehab. But that is not what I'm talking about in this article. I'm talking about the resting of healthy players.

This is not just a San Antonio Spurs problem. This is an NBA problem. This happens far too often and this will erode the fans’ experience. Lebron James sat out of the Spurs, Lakers contest recently. Every team chooses to rest its players from week to week without sufficient warning to those purchasing the tickets to those games. And even if you do get a two day warning, what good does that do? Reselling tickets is a pain and no one will want to buy your Lakers tickets once it's announced that Lebron is resting. The NBA forces its customers to play Russian roulette every time they buy a ticket. Why am I spending money on a product with no guarantee of the product I will receive?

The Pacers went on to beat the Spurs in the most mediocre game I’ve watched in a while. Dejounte, Keldon, and Jakob are 25, 22, and 26 years old, respectively. This isn’t an aging Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. We aren’t saving them for the finals. The Spurs are rebuilding and have a bunch of young players that need to play. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Oh, you want crazy pills? Here’s a placebo for the same price without an apology.

If the Spurs intend to tank, then tank, damn it. I can support that. And I will understand the product that they are attempting to sell. But right now, are we trying to win? Are we not? We could be going for the play-in tournament, but then what’s going on with these ridiculous lineups? If we are trying to improve our draft position, fire everyone because they are inept at that, too.

Were we just trying to get Popovich the record that he over and over again declared as insignificant? Is that why we are stuck in purgatory for another year without a clear plan out?

If advanced analytics prove that 82 games is too many for a 22 year old to play, then share the data and let’s shorten the season. It will reduce the NBA’s revenue in the short term, but long term, what will destroy the NBA’s revenue to a greater degree is constantly putting out a hamburger when we order a ribeye.

This has to upset an untold amount of fans every week. The crappy hamburger has a bad aftertaste and I can tell you that I’m cancelling my season tickets until they figure this out.

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