Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo recently spoke on the NBA’s new 65-game load management rule.
Ahead of the 2023-24 campaign, a new rule was created that disqualifies players from major end-of-season awards and honors in most cases if they fail to appear in at least 65 games.
“Me, honestly, it doesn’t affect how I think about basketball,” Adebayo told ESPN. “I love to play basketball. I love the game. So, for me, I’m gonna play regardless.
“I think it’s crazy that we have to have a rule that you have to play games, just because in my mind, I feel like everybody loves basketball the way I do. …
“At the end of the day, if guys want to win awards, they’re gonna play.”
Adebayo then explained that injuries are part of the game.
“[An injury] is what it is,” Adebayo said. “You can’t stop injuries from happening.”
“God forbid nobody gets hurt, but you can’t [prevent] injury,” he said. “I think it’s crazy that we even have the rule. It’s one of those things where you just accept the rule. …
“I guess use your 17 games as wisely as possible.”
Adebayo is on track to play fewer than 65 games for the Heat this season. He has played in 30 of the Heat’s 40 regular-season games thus far and is averaging 21.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 77.9 percent from the free-throw line.
The 26-year-old is one of the top contenders for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award, but in order to garner consideration for the honor at the end of the season (and other accolades), he will have to appear in at least 35 more games for the Heat.
While Adebayo shot just 5-of-17 from the field in the Heat’s most recent game versus the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, he starred on the defensive end of the floor. He tallied 20 rebounds (18 defensive) to go along with one block and one steal in 44 minutes of action for Miami.
The Heat beat the Nets by one point in overtime to improve their record to 24-16 on the season, which is the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference at the moment. Miami is within striking distance of the No. 3 seed in the conference, as the team is just two games behind the third-place Philadelphia 76ers in the standings.
Adebayo and the Heat will try for their fourth straight victory when they take on the Toronto Raptors on the road on Wednesday.
The Raptors lost to the Boston Celtics at home by nine points in their most recent game on Monday. Celtics star Jayson Tatum totaled 19 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes of playing time.