Kendrick Perkins slams Spurs for starting load management
ESPN's Kendrick Perkins has made a new career out of making ridiculous comments, and his latest take aim at load management and how the San Antonio Spurs popularized the practice. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich started the trend of selectively resting players to extend the career of Hall of Famer Tim Duncan, and it worked like a charm.
Popovich was simply looking out for his best player. And had he not done so, it is possible Duncan wouldn't have played 19 seasons and helped lead the Spurs to their fifth championship. It is also worth noting that San Antonio beat Perkins' Thunder team en route to that title. Perhaps it explains these comments:
Perkins' comments miss the point of load management
Perkins' criticism seems most prevalent among older players, but load management has also resulted in the high level of basketball we're seeing this year. The NBA has essentially built load management into the season, including starting the season earlier, extending the All-Star Break, and slashing the number of back-to-back games and four games in five nights. The league has even adjusted the schedule to cut down on unnecessary travel that resulted in teams zigzagging across the country.
All of that qualifies as load management. And those practices have made the NBA better. Player performance improves when they are well rested, and those necessary days off decrease the chances of injury. Not to mention that it can also extend careers. Look at Kevin Durant and LeBron James, superstars still hooping at 34 and 38, respectively.
Load management is only part of why Durant and LeBron still dominate the league in their advanced age, but it is a factor. The fact that Perkins only harps on the downsides of load management proves that he doesn't understand its importance to the NBA. Worse yet, he dialed up the drama meter by saying, "the Spurs have blood on their hands." What does that even mean?
Perkins has shown a pattern of spouting nonsensical takes. Just recently, he accused the media members who vote for league MVP of not being diverse enough; however, that is clearly not the case.
The fact that he works in sports media but has no idea which of his colleagues and competitors get to vote for the MVP award underscores that he is just talking to talk.
Perkins taking shots at the Spurs for starting load management misses the point. The team successfully preserved their franchise player and extended his career. It helped them win a championship and served as a model for the league to improve the quality of the NBA.