What is NBA load management? League nears new game-changing rule preventing clubs from sitting their best players

NBA super teams go to great lengths to ensure their best players stay in good condition for the playoffs. Lately, this has involved resting players, commonly referred to as “load management.” The term is a bit of a long phrase, but it essentially means giving players rest.

The phrase NBA “load management” as a strategy has been a way for NBA teams to enhance their chances of winning the championship. However, it has faced significant criticism recently, as the NBA considers changing this rule.

What is NBA load management? Details explained

NBA load management began in the 2010s, mainly with the San Antonio Spurs. Over the last decade, it has become more common, with stars like LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard often skipping games to protect their long-term health-related issues. Load management happens when a healthy player sits out a game for rest or precautionary reasons, aiming to prevent fatigue and injuries.


This practice is now widespread in the NBA due to the league’s lengthy 82-game regular season and additional playoff matches. Essentially, load management is a fancy term for giving a player a night off during the 82-game season to keep them fresh for the playoffs. Coaches and players usually decide to rest an available player, especially among star players, teams with championship hopes, and veteran players, especially when there are back-to-back games.

NBA nears new game-changing rule: No more rest for superstars?

Critics have slammed NBA load management, pointing out the edge it provides to teams boasting more star players. Fans often express frustration when their team’s top player sits out games despite being fit to play. This not only risks their team losing in the regular season but also disappoints fans who have spent their hard-earned money to watch the best players perform live.

The good news is that the NBA is making plans to stop this strategy by introducing a  load management rule to control this approach. Shams Charania, who is an NBA insider reported through its X handle that “NBA Board of Governors is expected to vote this week on a new policy that a team is unable to rest two-star players in the same game, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Many league discussions over past 1-2 years have centered around stars playing more, curbing load management.” 


On top of that, LegionHoops reported: “BREAKING: The NBA is working on a rule that would ban teams from resting two stars in the same game.”

The NBA’s plan to ban the load management strategy will definitely call for fans’ reactions and criticism. The NBA Realist gave an explanation of how NBA’s interpretation of how physiology works was inaccurate:  “Load Managing for one game has a totally different impact on the body than being away from the game for 2 or 4 years. When you take a couple of days off, the body benefits from rest,” he said.

“The aging doesn’t suddenly stop in Retirement. In fact, it accelerates,” he further elaborated.

What’s your take on the NBA putting a halt to load management? Tell us what you think in the comments.


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