Cleveland Cavaliers to Rest Starters for NBA Finals
May 27, 2017 - The Cleveland Cavaliers have announced that they will be resting their trio of superstars for the entirety of the NBA Finals in order to keep them healthy and fresh for the 2017-2018 NBA season. Head coach Tyronn Lue has decided to keep LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love on the bench for the upcoming series against the Golden State Warriors.
"We have to consider the long-term interests of our team at all times," said Lue. "As much as we'd love to focus entirely on the present, we recognize that could be harmful to our players. We don't want to be selfish. If LeBron sprains his ankle in game 2 against the Warriors, I'll never be able to live with myself."
While James admitted that it will be difficult to watch the Finals from the bench, he also acknowledged that he has to do what is in the best interest of his team. "I'm a team-first guy, and besides, I don't want to risk getting hurt in some meaningless playoff game when I have my whole career ahead of me. I'm in the Finals every year anyway. Plus, I'm planning a three-week trip to Italy with Dwyane Wade in July, and I really want to be at 100 percent for that. Florence is absolutely beautiful this time of year."
Irving echoed James' sentiments while adding that "Coach James - I mean, Coach Lue - has never been wrong before, and I'm not about to start doubting his decision-making ability now."
Kevin Love took a slightly different stance on the matter, wiping a tear from his cheek as he reluctantly agreed with the team's decision. "I really want to play, but LeBron said we have to listen to Coach," he said. "He's such a nice guy and a great teammate, and I don't want to disappoint him. I'd do anything for him. He's the best player and the best person ever, and I'm just honored to breathe the same air that he does. Please tell him I said that. Tell him Kevin said how awesome he is."
Cavaliers fans were furious upon hearing the announcement, but owner Dan Gilbert claimed that the city of Cleveland was his "number one concern," and that this decision was made with only the fans in mind. "Cleveland isn't exactly known for being a powerhouse in the world of sports," said Gilbert. "We won a championship last year, and honestly I'm afraid that if we win another one our fans are just going to become obnoxiously arrogant. The city of Cleveland has such a wonderful reputation right now, and I really don't want to ruin that by winning too much."
When informed that his superstar teammates would not be playing for the rest of the playoffs, J.R. Smith became extremely excited at the prospect of taking on an expanded role. "It sucks that those guys aren't playing, but now I just have to step up and shoot the ball every single time it touches my hands. Does losing three of our starters make us weaker? Maybe, but as long as I get the chance to throw up 40-50 3-pointers every game, I still think we've got a pretty good shot to win."
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr would not say whether or not his team would decide to rest any players in response. "I know Draymond [Green] was really looking forward to kicking Kevin Love in the balls, so maybe I'll give him a couple games off since he's probably pretty down in the dumps."