In the NBA, it has become more and more common in recent years for stars to get the odd game off. The league has now tightened up the rules for this.
The club owners of the North American professional basketball league NBA have decided on stricter rules and higher penalties for sparing star players. The league defines a star player as anyone who has been on an NBA All-Star or All-NBA squad in the previous three seasons, or who has been named to the All-Star Game in the same season.
According to ESPN and The Athletic, the vote on the so-called Player Participation Policy gives the league office more power to sanction violations: The first infraction will thus be $100,000, the second $250,000, and the third or more $1 million. However, there are to be exceptions, linked to a certain age or number of career games, for example. Healthy players who rest for a game must be visible to spectators and at games.
Under the new rules recommended by the NBA Competition Committee, teams cannot exclude a star player or use him in a way that compromises the integrity of the game.
This integrity of the league could be interpreted as being threatened if teams stop using their stars and condone losing in order to improve their own prospects in the talent lottery of the NBA draft after missing the playoffs. This so-called “tanking” is frowned upon, but it has been practised again and again in the past.