NBA Board of Governors Approves Rule Prohibiting Teams From Resting Two Stars in Same Game

The NBA Board of Governors has approved a rule that will prevent teams from holding out two star players in the same game for the purpose of rest, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.NBA Logo

According to the league, a “star” is defined as a player who has played in the All-Star Game or qualified for an All-NBA team over the past three seasons.

Holding out players for rest has been a major issue for the league in recent seasons — and most of those decisions are made by the teams (as opposed to the players). The NBA Players Association is said to be in favor of the rule.

The new rule includes “national TV games, in-season tournament games and sitting out multiple All-Stars together in regular season games,” wrote Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Teams who break the rule will be fined $100,000 for the first infraction, followed by $250,000 for the second. They will face fines of $1 million or more for violating the rules beyond a second time.

The NBA sent a memo to teams about the new rules. Per Wojnarowski:

  • Teams must manage their roster to ensure that no more than one star player is unavailable for the same game.
  • Teams must ensure that star players are available for national television and in-season tournament games.
  • Teams must maintain a balance between the number of one-game absences for a star player in home games and road games — with a preference for those absences to happen in home games.
  • Teams must refrain from any long-term shutdown — or near shutdown — when a star player stops participating in games or plays in a materially reduced role in circumstances affecting the integrity of the game.

Along with all that, players are resting must be with the team and visible to those in attendance, the memo read, via Wojnarowski.

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