The Cleveland Cavaliers rested their Big Three on Saturday night in a 108-78 loss to the Clippers, prompting protests from frustrated fans and former players.
Among those was Hall of Famer Karl Malone, who had a strongly worded message for players who pick rest over performing.
(1/2) HOF'er Karl Malone: "if you don't have at least 10 yrs experience, get your a** playing. It's not work, it's called playing. Besides..— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) March 19, 2017
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(2/2) "...tell our underpaid service members & police & first responders to rest. Dammit, they can't"— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) March 19, 2017
The Cavs chose to keep Kevin Love, who's on a minutes restriction after returning from a knee injury, from playing in back-to-back games, and held out Kyrie Irving because he hurt a knee Thursday night. With those two out, they opted to give LeBron James the night off, too.
Cavs GM David Griffin told ABC's Lisa Salters that he sympathized with fans who paid to see the stars, however the team was looking out for its fans by trying to keep the Big Three rested and healthy.
But ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy questioned why the Cavs chose to rest their stars in Saturday's nationally televised game -- one week after the Warriors did the same thing at San Antonio -- instead of Sunday's game against the lowly Lakers.
JVG makes a good point - why not rest your 3 best guys vs the Tanking Lakers?— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) March 19, 2017
Also - LeBron could have beaten the reeling Clips by himself.
And for those like Malone, the idea of resting at any point during the season just doesn't fly.