In a chat with Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Orlando Magic coach (and ex-Hornets coach) Steve Clifford explained why he and his squad do not believe in “load management” and what Hornets owner Michael Jordan told his team about playing every game.
“Our guys aren’t used to sitting on the second game of a back-to-back.… We’re not sitting guys just to sit,” Clifford told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “For me, my background frankly, it all goes back to expectations. Being with Michael (Jordan) in Charlotte, Michael used to tell them every year, you’re paid to play 82 games.”
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and playing 82 games used to be a badge of courage for a lot of guys,” Clifford said. “There were always a lot of guys who didn’t want to play. They stood out more.”
Kawhi Leonard is the NBA’s biggest ambassador of the load management movement. In just the first 8 games of the season, Kawhi has missed 2 of them, and it seems as if he will miss at least one game of every back-to-back set of the season.
Clearly, not everyone is on the same page. As for MJ and his guys, they intend to play as much as they can.