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NBA teams banned from resting multiple star players

NBA teams banned from resting multiple star players
© Reuters
The NBA introduces new rules which will prevent teams from resting more than one star player for any given game from the 2023-24 season onwards.

NBA teams will be banned from resting multiple star players in a game under new rules to take effect from the 2023-24 season.

The newly-introduced Player Participation Policy has been drawn up primarily to prevent fans and broadcast companies from being short-changed by a team resting most of their big names for any given match.

A star player is defined by anyone picked in an All-NBA Team or NBA All-Star team in the previous three seasons - an umbrella currently encompassing 50 players league-wide.

Should a team rest more than one star player in a match then the league can fine them $100,000 (£80,000) for the first offence, $250,000 (£201,000) for the second offence and then an additional $1m (£803,000) more than the previous fine for every offence thereafter.

Exceptions can be requested for injuries, injury history, end-of-season flexibility and personal reasons, while more experienced players - those 35 or older at the start of the season, or who have played over 34,000 regular-season minutes or 1,000 games - will be able to request more back-to-back games off. That group includes the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry.

Steph Curry in action for the Golden State Warriors on April 30, 2023© Reuters

The new rules will also force franchises to "maintain a balance" between star players missing home or away games, while if fit they must be available for all nationally televised matches.

An uninjured star player who is rested must still attend the game and be "visible to fans", while they are also unable to have a "long-term shutdown" where they miss multiple matches in a row.

"It's a shared view by everyone in the league, it's not just coming from the league office," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

"I think whether it's our teams, our players association, individual players, I think there's an acknowledgement across the league that we need to return to that principle that this is an 82-game league.

"I think there's a statement of principle that if you're a healthy player in this league, the expectation is that you're going to play.

The Denver Nuggets celebrate winning the NBA title on June 12, 2023© Reuters

"What we've tried to do as the league office is work through all the different issues recognising the genuine concern from the fans and of course the media that's paying for the opportunity to broadcast those games.

"The Players Association was very much a part of it. We had extensive discussions with them and then with individual groups of players, particularly the veterans in the league, about how they thought we should be approaching it."

The new NBA season will begin on October 24, with the regular season running until April 19.

Each team will play 82 matches over that 178-day spell - an average of almost once every two days.

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LeBron James in action for the Los Angeles Lakers on May 13, 2023
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