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Wes Unseld Jr. likes the NBA’s new load management rule

Wes Unsled Jr. Load Management

Wes Unsled Jr.
Wes Unseld is one of the few coaches who approve of the new rest rule to curve load management. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Wes Unseld Jr. likes the NBA’s new load management rule

The NBA implemented a new resting rule for “star players” earlier this offseason in an attempt to curve load management. The new rule will essentially 1.) restrict more than one “star” player from sitting in a single game 2.) prohibit them from sitting in nationally televised games and 3.) prevent the league from shutting down “star” players long-term (i.e. in the final 10 games of a season if the team is bad).

While there were reportedly many coaches who spoke out against the new rule, according to Joe Vardon and Mike Vorkunov from The Athletic, there was at least one coach who publicly did approve: Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr.

“I love it,” he said, according to Vardon and Vorkunov. “I think it’s great for the league.”

Unseld was one of the many head coaches to voice their opinion; others included Bulls’ Billy Donovan, Hornets’ Steve Clifford, Cavaliers’ J.B. Bickerstaff and Nets’ Jacque Vaughn, among others.

The NBA’s vice president of basketball operations Joe Dumars recently stated that load management does not work as intended; load management, in most cases, was basically used for resting certain players who are deemed healthy to reduce the risk of injury if there’s a lot of wear on the body.

Before, it was a given conclusion that the data showed that you had to rest players a certain amount, and that justified them sitting out,” Joe Dumars, the NBA executive vice president of basketball operations, said earlier this week, according to The Athletic. “We’ve gotten more data, and it just doesn’t show that resting, sitting guys out correlates with lack of injuries, or fatigue, or anything like that. What it does show is maybe guys aren’t as efficient on the second night of a back-to-back.

Obviously everybody’s not going to play 82 games, but everyone should want to play 82 games. And that’s the culture that we are trying to reestablish right now.”

Even though this data doesn’t support the load management concept, teams leaguewide are still going to find ways to load manage certain players on non-nationally televised nights. Though it’ll now come with greater pushback, of course.

Some teams also do it more than others in practice anyway. For Unseld, he won’t have a “star” player– those who have been named an NBA All-Star or to an All-NBA team within the previous three seasons–he’ll have to worry about, so it may not be as pressing as an issue for him right and his team as opposed to, say, the Warriors or Clippers.

What do you think about the new rule? Let us know in the comments!

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