The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers earned plenty of criticisms after they decided to rest all their star players in a Saturday night game. Houston Rockets star James Harden showed no intention of following the trend and said that he’ll only rest once the season is over.
“I’m a hooper,” Harden said. “I just want to hoop. I’ll rest when I’m done. I feel like my teammates and organization need me to go out there and do what I do. I get obviously paid for it, but it’s something I love. I enjoy the grind. I enjoy how hard it is. I think that makes you tougher. That makes you who you are.”
On Saturday night, the Cavaliers let LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving rest against the Los Angeles Clippers. Following the announcement of the Cavaliers, the NBA contacted general manager David Griffin and expressed their concern. It was the second consecutive Saturday a team rested star players during prime-time.
Unfortunately, the league can’t do anything since there are no rules preventing teams from purposely resting their star players. Coach Tyronn Lue defended the team’s decision and blamed how the NBA scheduled games. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers also expressed the same sentiment and urged the league take action to prevent such situations.
James Harden not interested in following “DNP-Rest” trend
Though it’s allowed, James Harden said he won’t rest as long as he’s 100 percent healthy. Harden believed coach Mike D’Antoni won’t stop him from playing, unlike other coaches who make sure all their stars are healthy in the postseason.
“Mike knows not to come at me with that,” the All-Star guard told Fox 26’s Mark Berman on Monday. In 70 games he played this season, Harden averaged 36.5 minutes which ranks eighth in the NBA. He only missed one game due to suspension. After a 125-124 victory over the Denver Nuggets, D’Antoni will give his team the next two days off.
“That’s when I can rest,” Harden said. “Take care of my body, cold tubs, massages, stretching and be ready to go [Friday].”
James Harden to be named the 2017 Most Valuable Player?
James Harden emerged as the top favorite to win this year’s MVP award. He’s currently playing his best season, averaging 29.2 points, 11.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds per game. Harden didn’t only improve offensively but also managed to address his defensive weakness.
“I don’t know how many examples you need there,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said regarding the MVP award and Harden. “He gives you an example every night. If something’s better out there, I’ve never seen it and I’ve been around. I’m old and I’ve been around and never seen anything better.”
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