Let's hear all about how the players owe the NBA, television stations and fans in every way possible and they should be doing everything we demand.
The NBA pays these guys, they should suit up every night! The TV contracts help these guys get more exposure! The fans spend their hard-earned money to watch the stars play!
Well guess what? An 82-game season is demanding on ANYONE'S body, and now with all the money, time and resources invested into the league's star players, taking a night off here and there shouldn't at all be an issue. And people complaining about it are missing the point.
Kawhi will have played six out of the Los Angeles Clippers' eight games after Wednesday night, and sure, while it's not entirely ideal he's out against Giannis Antetokounmpo, everyone would say the same if he missed out on Thursday's game against Dame Lillard and the Blazers.
We knew going into the year that back-to-backs were going to be a point of contention surrounding the league's star players, especially those on championship-contending teams. The Clippers even made it known about Leonard. It's a grueling regular season and then a two-month playoff extravaganza, which Leonard endured in full last year. The goal is to win a championship, not entertain every soul on the planet every night you have the opportunity to do so.
We're really going to make Skip Bayless sound like the voice of reason in all of this? Though, to be fair, he'd be blasting LeBron if the King were resting, so this doesn't hold much merit.
What more do people have to understand? Kawhi played 60 games last season and guided the Toronto Raptors for their first ever NBA title. Now, with more depth in LA coupled with the fact Paul George is going to need ample rest in his return from shoulder surgery, keeping Kawhi fresh for the long haul is prudent and very much realistic considering the remainder of the roster can compete with most other NBA teams.
Kawhi has an opportunity to lead another championship-starved franchise to the promised land and there's no chance he or the Clippers care what any of the critics are saying about his load management.