Despite having played in vastly different NBA eras, Robert Parish and Kendrick Perkins agree on “load management” in the association.
The former Boston Celtics centers have offered their opinions on the raging load-management debate in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Clippers’ decision to rest superstar forward Kawhi Leonard in their team’s highly anticipated, nationally televised matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. While Leonard’s DNP has divided opinions among NBA observers, Perkins and Parish fall firmly on the healthy-players-must-play side.
Perkins, 34, aired his views Wednesday night via Twitter, first blaming San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich for resting Leonard for most of 2017-18, as he recovered from a quad injury.
“We all should give a big Thank You to the Greg Pop for starting this load management BS,” Perkins wrote in a Tweet.
“Man stop this Kevin!!!” Perkins continued. “Kawhi should be playing tonight! It’s to early In the damn season for this load management BS! Matter of fact ho about giving the season ticket holders there money back when he don’t play?”
“TV deals, ticket prices and the fan experience connected to merchandise is a big reason why players get paid what they do,” Perkins concluded. “Players have to hold up on their end of the deal by giving fans what they pay for. This load management stuff is getting out of hand!”
Parish, 66, is the NBA’s all-time leader in games played, and the opinion on load management he shared Thursday morning on SiriusXM NBA Radio shouldn’t surprise anyone.
“I’m not a fan, personally, of taking games off,” Parish said. “I think that’s where the mental toughness comes in because it’s not just about the physical toughness. You’ve got to be mentally tough because everybody nurses injuries, suffering from fatigue. You’ve got to fight through that, push through that.
“… You’ve got to push through the soreness, the aches and pains, ‘I don’t feel like playing tonight,’ you’ve got to push through that because … the guy you’re playing against feels the same way. He doesn’t want to be out there either. So it just boils down to how much you want it (to win).”
Leonard’s experience with the Toronto Raptors last season belies Perkins’ and Parish’s beliefs, as the All-Star forward credits the fact he played just 66 games in the regular season for the freshness he demonstrated in the team’s triumphant run through the NBA playoffs.
If the Raptors’ and Clippers’ handling of Leonard will set a trend in the NBA, we’re certain Perkins, Parish and other old-school types won’t like it.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images