Today, the NBA Board of Governors approved a new Player Participation Policy, which is intended to prevent teams from resting players during the NBA’s regular season.
The new policy will take effect with the start of the 2023-24 regular season and replace the Player Resting Policy, which was implemented prior to the 2017-18 season.
The Player Participation Policy will focus primarily on star players. A star player for purposes of the policy is any player who was selected to an All-NBA team or an All-Star team in any of the prior three seasons. Following a given season’s All-Star game, this will also apply to any player who is named an All-Star during that season.
Under the new policy, unless a team demonstrates an approved reason for a star player not to participate in a game, then, among other things, the team must:
- Manage its roster to ensure that no more than one star player is unavailable for the same game.
- Ensure that star players are available for all national television and NBA In-Season Tournament games.
- Maintain a balance between the number of one-game absences for a star player in home and road games.
- Refrain from any long-term “shutdowns” in which a star player stops playing games.
- If resting a healthy player, ensure that the player is present at the games and visible to fans.
The policy includes exceptions for injuries, personal reasons and pre-approved back-to-back restrictions based on a player’s age, career workload or serious injury history.
As first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski: "The NBA will incorporate a fine system for teams that begins with $100,000 for first offenses, $250,000 for second offenses and $1 million more than the previous penalty for each additional fine, sources said."