The issue just doesn't seem to get a rest.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to team owners Monday regarding the practice of resting big-name players.
Silver called it an "extremely significant'' issue for the league, suggested owners get involved in such decisionmaking and said the topic will be raised at next month's board of governors meeting.
But the notion that a rule can be put in place regarding the resting of players is probably far-fetched. And, as San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said after the Spurs morning shoot at Target Center Tuesday, it is the coaches who need to make such decisions.
"There is still no rule because it's a bucket of worms,'' Popovich said. "And it's hard to make a rule. … I think the league has to understand the science of what we do is a whole lot more sophisticated than it used to be. We have definitely added years to people's [careers].
''So it's a trade-off. You want to see this guy in this one game? Or do you want to see him for three more years in his career?''
Popovich has been in the forefront of the idea of resting players. He said he started thinking seriously about the cost of overplaying someone in Tim Duncan's second season. The Spurs won the title when Duncan was a rookie. But he was unavailable for the playoffs the following season because of a sore knee.
"That's when it started that we were going to do everything to extend players' careers,'' Popovich said.
Since then, with advances in science and analytics, the benefits of rest have become more clear.
For years Popovich has been resting his players during difficult stretches in the schedule. Duncan, Manu Ginóbili and Tony Parker have often gotten days off. The issue has gotten hotter this season, when Cleveland rested LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for a nationally televised game.
Also, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr rested Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Iguodala for a nationally-televised game against the Spurs on March 11, the day after losing to the Wolves at Target Center.
The league is attempting to ease the scheduling pressure. Next season will start a week earlier, with the idea of forcing teams into fewer back-to-backs and fewer situations where teams have to play four times in five nights.
"You want to look at it from everyone's perspective,'' Wolves president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau said.
"I think there will be a good solution to this. It's just looking at it and saying, 'OK, how can we avoid some of the conflicts?'"
Thibodeau suggested the idea of scheduling national TV games first, then working the schedule around that. Starting the season earlier will help. He said perhaps schedules can be constructed so that back-to-back games can be close in proximity so players get more sleep.
"I don't think anyone wants to see what's happening,'' Thibodeau said. "We certainly understand there is a business side to it. There is the rest side, the health of the players.''
Popovich agreed, expressing empathy for fans who spend money to go to a game to see a visiting star only have him not play.
"I think it's our responsibility to try to balance it if we can,'' he said.
One possibility he would endorse would be the idea that, if a player needs rest, it would come in home games and not on the road.
"If that can happen, we should consider that every time,'' Popovich said. "We'll all try to figure it out. We want to do the best job we can because it is entertainment. ''
But it's also players' careers. Just ask Ginobili, who is still playing at age 39. Has being rested extended his career?
"Yes,'' Ginobili said. "It helps to avoid injuries and be more energetic when I am on the court.''