Mike Greenberg blasts Twitter

NBA players and teams will face greater punishments this season when they sit out games. And Mike Greenberg said on his #Greeny radio show that it could be a reality check for players who have never known anything other than revenue growth in the modern NBA.

“Everyone from Magic Johnson to Larry Bird to Michael Jordan to basically the stars of the eighties and the nineties, I think they felt a real obligation and a priority to leave the league in a better place than they’d found it,” Greenberg explained. “It was important to them.

“The league grew to such extraordinary heights that I don’t think the stars of this day and age think of it that way.”

The NBA will fine teams as much as $1 million for repeat offenses if they rest multiple players who have made an All-Star or All-NBA team in the past three seasons in the same game. All healthy star players must also be available for nationally televised and in-season tournament games.

More from Greenberg:

“It’s not a criticism.

“It means these guys have grown up in a in a world in which the NBA has been as popular as almost anything could possibly be. They take it for granted because they don’t know any other way, and it never occurs to them that me sitting this game out is going to have any impact on that whatsoever.

“The pride in playing 82 games is long since out the window. It’s no longer even talked about. So I agree with everyone who says this probably isn’t going to change anything. It certainly isn’t going to change everything.

“But at least it puts it front and center and puts the onus … on the players. It has to be important to them. If it’s not important to them, it’s never going to be important to anyone else.

“The league is going to be fine either way. I commend Adam Silver for giving it a try, whether it solves the problem or not.”

Greenberg was careful to not attack the athletes here, but it certainly comes off as a criticism. If nothing else, he is at least saying the players’ approach to rest is the wrong mentality to have and needs to change.

However, many around the NBA have suggested that the approach comes from teams, not players. That may be why the NBA will be fining teams for breaking the new rules, not players directly.

NBA business manager Nate Jones says often that training staff and data analysts drive load management more than players. They are very rarely in the crossfire of the debate over rest in the NBA.

Greenberg is probably right that a young NBA star doesn’t remember a time when the NBA was not a lucrative business. They may not understand the consequences of reduced TV or gate revenue. But fixing it isn’t just up to them, either.


About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.