Out of the 20+ Sixers games I've been to, I cannot remember one where I did not feel some kind of way on the way down I-95 to the Wells Fargo Center. While it was not the city rush-hour traffic, the impending opponent, or the thought of the line for Chickie's and Pete's, it was the injury report. Being a large fan of NBA Basketball, I was relatively aware of who players in the league were injured, and for how long (for the notable ones you pay to see play). Unless you're the Golden State Warriors, the beginning of this NBA Season has not bought upon many injuries; however, players such as Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, ... and any all star in the past decade sit for a few games a year. This is due to "Load Management," a term popularized in the past season with Kawhi Leonard, when the Raptors sat him a whopping 20 games. The problem with this is the fact that these players are healthy to take the court.
Resting does have its obvious benefits, such as longer careers, less risk of injury, and less wear and tear on mussels. Resting players towards a long playoff run when the games left in a season can be counted on 2 hands is completely understandable and acceptable. Heck, I would even encourage it. The teams that have high seeds for the 2 month long playoffs, as well as the teams tanking for a high lottery pick, have no incentive to play their star players when late March and early April come around.
The problems I have with NBA players, coaches, trainers, health staff, and everyone in between are all impacting us as fans.
For starters, a player coming off a summer off-season does not need to rest during the opening week of the season, even if games are on a back-to-back. One of the most watched weeks of basketball is the first one, due to high intensity match-ups and hope for each team. This year, Kawhi Leonard and Joel Embiid both rested during the first week of play, disappointing those at home, who have been waiting months to see their favorite players and teams play; moreover, the fans who purchased tickets are even more let down.
And that is where point 2 comes in. Each team 99-100% has a schedule for each player, maybe within a week or twos time, where they plan rest game days in advance. While the cheapest tickets can sometimes be snatched right before tip-off, most people plan days, weeks and months ahead of game day to plan their trip to their local arena. Many fans are disappointed a day, or even minutes before the game when they receive a tweet or notification that their favorite player is out for "REST." This has happened to me many times, whether it was the opposing team's star out, or Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons sitting.
To fix this issue, I have a solution.
While this may not benefit the business side of ticket sales, I propose a new rule in the NBA where each team planning on resting a player is required to tell the league office 48 hours in advance. Exceptions will be made if a player is out for any other reason such as injuries, personal reasons, or internal team suspensions. This takes the worry off of fans going to an upcoming game so they know who 90% (barring injuries, ejections or suspensions, which are impossible to predict) will be suiting up for game day.
While I NEVER see this becoming an actual rule change, it would help settle this debate and put it to rest.