Wizards

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis agrees with Adam Silver that resting players hurts product

Wizards

After two recent incidents of teams resting multiple starters during nationally televised games, NBA commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to teams calling the strategy "an extremely significant issue for our league." 

The gist of his argument was that resting stars damages the fan experience and the game product for broadcast partners. Silver warned that teams that don't provide adequate notice before resting players would incurr penalties. 

Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis seems to be in the commissioner's corner on this issue. Appearing on CNBC this morning, Leonsis said he, too, was concerned about how resting star players could damage the NBA's product. 

"I responded immediately to Adam and said, 'Just put the Washington Wizards on national television and I'll make sure our players show up,'" Leonsis joked.

"I think it's an honor to play on national TV. I was chairman of the media committee for the NBA and the networks paid a lot of money for the programming and they want to drive ratings," he said. "They deserve to have our best product out there and the best players. And so I empathize and support where our commissioner took a stand here."

As for what can be done to curb teams from giving healthy starters a night off, Leonsis said he wouldn't necessarily advocate for a rule change. 

"It's a slippery slope if you put a rule out because if a player is hurt or a player is banged up, he should be able to sit out. You have all sorts of issues around the CBA and what's in the best interests of the player," he said, before reiterating that there has to be a line drawn somewhere. "I do think when you sit out three players arbitrarily in the main game for the game of the week, then that's probably inappropriate."

 

Still, it seems the owner is very much on the same page as his players. Wall said last week that he's not fond of the resting idea, in part because he hates to disappoint the fans. That it's even an issue in today's NBA is evidence that the league is becoming "softer," he said. 

MORE WIZARDS: Oubre, Smith give hope to Wizards' improving 2nd unit