If Michael Jordan believes NBA players are paid to play 82 games, he’s extremely wrong – For The Win

You would think the rest of the NBA had learned.

Everyones just watched years of LeBron James, Golden State Warriors players and Kawhi Leonard win titles.

What do they all have in common, aside from the top talent pool in the league? They all spent time resting during the regular season. When the postseason came, their legs were fresh enough to make a run to a ring.

Yet here we are once again, in the middle of a debate over whether load management is good for the league. On one end, you have organizations using analytics and data to figure out when a star player needs a break during an arduous 82-game season. Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle just talked about the GPS devices during practice that help him figure it out.

And then theres this quote from Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford, who cited his former Charlotte Hornets boss Michael Jordan regarding rest. From the New York Daily News:

Our guys arent used to sitting on the second game of a back-to-back. Were not sitting guys just to sit, Clifford said. For me, my background frankly, it all goes back to expectations. Being with Michael in Charlotte, Michael used to tell them every year, youre paid to play 82 games.

If thats really Jordans philosophy, then hes just another dinosaur in a league full of them.

Players arent paid to play 82 games. Sure, theyre paid to practice and work hard and play harder. But theyre paid to win championships. That should be all an NBA franchise and its fans care about.

Im baffled that with so much proof in front of us Leonard played only 60 time in 2019 and then became Kawhi The Best Player in the NBA in the postseason and there are people like New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale spitting out phrases like this load management crap. Maybe thats coach speak meant to make an owner dishing out millions to players happy.

But if thats really what he and MJ and so many others believe? Then the coaches arent doing right by their owners at all, and Jordan will struggle to get the Hornets to contention. Running a player into the ground (in the case of the Knicks, its the heavy usage of their young No. 3 draft pick R.J. Barrett, who looks like a future star) is a great way to destroy an investment into a player, the opposite of what an owner would want.

Its tied into the bizarre nostalgia that so many former players and fans have tied into the league, where the idea that load management means soft.

The truth is the league like the rest of the sports world has evolved. And those who have evolved with it have won championships.

Everyone else is going to be left in the dust until they catch up.

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If Michael Jordan believes NBA players are paid to play 82 games, he's extremely wrong - For The Win

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