by Alex Poletti
Commissioner Adam Silver announced this weekend that for the remainder of the 2019 and second half of the 2020 season, the NBA will install sleeping areas that allow fans to watch their favorite players while they aren’t on the court.
This news comes after years of criticism for teams resting star players after they had already clinched playoff spots. Famously, the Cleveland Cavaliers benched LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the same game in 2017. This led Silver to fine teams up to $100 thousand dollars for resting healthy players, but teams continued to do so.
“For a long time, we had this disconnect between the league and the teams,” Silver explains, “but now I think we’ve found the best of both worlds. Now, fans can watch mediocre basketball and go over to the sleeping area to watch LeBron snooze.”
The sleeping areas will be accessible to all fans with lower-level or box tickets. In all arenas, the resting spots will be within a five minute walk from the courtside seats.
Silver was inspired to adopt the strategy when visiting the Cincinnati Zoo. When the animals were sleeping, the tour was directed into the “inside-part,” where the animals were seen blissfully dreaming.
After revealing his inspiration for the new addition, Silver faced some ire from the media for comparing star players to zoo attractions.
“Obviously, we don’t treat our players like animals,” Silver explains. “This isn’t the NFL.”
The sleeping areas are actually much nicer than the benches the millionaires used to rest on. Each star will be gifted his own tempurpedic mattress for resting late in the season. If fans come early enough, they may get to see the stars eat their five course meals and receive a nice massage.
“Oh boy, I had such a fun time today at the game!” 12-year-old Warriors fan Jimmy Plinckett says. “I didn’t get to see KD dunk or Steph shoot, but I could feel their power when I watched them sleep. And when I saw Klay eat his steak tartare with a glass of the 2008 Pinot, that was incredible!”