Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue used his team's nationally-televised game Sunday against the Clippers for a little rest and recuperation. The second-year head coach did not play stars LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, or Kevin Love in a 108-78 loss to the Clippers, reigniting the debate on the efficacy and ethics of purposefully not playing healthy players to rest them for the grueling playoff stretch.
Long has the discussion raged among players, coaches, and fans on if resting players at specific junctures helps or hurts the game in the long term, and James addressed some of those criticisms Sunday after the Cavaliers' defeat.
"I don't think the NBA can do anything about it at the end of the day," James said. "It sucks at times where certain guys have to rest, but different guys need rest. It's a long, strenuous season."
James has missed six games this season, but just one has come to do illness or injury. The four-time MVP missed a Feb. 25 win over the Bulls due to strep throat.
"A coach's job is to figure out a way for their team to compete for a championship, not compete for a game," James said. "For me personally, I want to play in every game ... but my coach felt like it was best that I didn't play last night, so I'm going to go with my coach."