Donovan Mitchell On Load Management: “Love To Play All 82, But Sometimes Your Body’s Telling You To Sit Down”
Load management has become the norm in today’s NBA. Over the past couple of years, teams and players have embraced load management where players sit out games with the purpose of keeping themselves healthy and fresh for future games.
However, this practice doesn’t sit well with plenty of fans and basketball pundits, who believe that this is eroding the fan interest and quality of the game. Even Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards has recently pushed back on this idea.
But for all the negative talk, Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell now offers his own perspective on load management, suggesting that players sometimes have no choice but to do what’s best for their body despite wanting to play in front of their fans.
“I don’t really think we have conversations. I think that’s everybody else’s conversation,” Donovan Mitchell, another NBPA VP, told BSJ. “As a guy in this league, I understand the disappointment as a little kid, coming to watch your favorite player, but in the same token, you want to be able to perform and put on a show. You want to be available, you want to be out there. It’s not the same as it once was. I don’t speak for everybody when I say this. I think the biggest thing is just trying to be as healthy as possible. The game’s played at a faster, higher pace, the level guys are cutting, guys are more athletic, there’s so much that goes into it that we don’t talk about. We just talk about, guys are sitting out. We don’t talk about the why or what’s lingering or what’s around, or if I play, if I overuse one side, now the other side’s messed up, now you’re out for two weeks.”
“There are so many other factors that go into load management,” he said. “That I don’t think we talk about. I’m not really on either side, I’m kind of just in the middle. I try to do what’s best for my body, try to be the player I can for my teammates, obviously I want to put a show on for the fans and come playoff time, you want to be ready. That’s the biggest time of the year. That’s not to discredit the regular season, but you want to be able to perform. You want to be able to be out there. I would love to play all 82, but sometimes your body’s telling you to sit down. I think we don’t really pay attention to that and why would you? You don’t know the life and the travel and the injuries and the lingering stuff, but it’s a conversation that’s going to be ongoing.”