Draymond Green Blasts NBA 65-Game Rule for Penalizing Injuries Cites Joel Embiid Case

ESPN Debate Ignites Over New NBA Player Eligibility Rule.

by Nouman Rasool
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Draymond Green Blasts NBA 65-Game Rule for Penalizing Injuries Cites Joel Embiid Case
© Kavin Mistry/Getty Images

In a recent episode of his podcast, NBA star Draymond Green sparked controversy by criticizing the league's newly implemented 65-game rule, which affects player eligibility for postseason awards. The rule has been a warm topic, especially after Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers' star and front-runner for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, faced an injury setback.

Embiid, who has been averaging an impressive 35.3 points per game, is set to miss significant time due to a meniscus tear in his knee. This injury, according to Green, exemplifies how the 65-game rule could unjustly penalize players who suffer legitimate injuries.

"Players are now getting punished for getting injured," Green stated, highlighting the dilemma faced by Embiid, whose ongoing knee issues have been exacerbated by a recent incident on the court.

Smith Counters Green

Draymond Green's comments came after Stephen A.

Smith of ESPN's First Take challenged his views. Smith argued that the rule aims to address the growing trend of load management rather than penalize injured players. He emphasized that the league's decision is a response to longstanding complaints from fans and analysts about players frequently missing games.

However, Green remains skeptical, noting the adverse impact on players like Embiid, who are forced to navigate between recovery and the pressure to meet the league's game-count requirements. "MVPs are hard to come by," Green added, expressing concern that Embiid's injury, coupled with the new rule, could cost him a consecutive MVP title.

The discussion has put the spotlight on the NBA's efforts to balance player health and the integrity of the game. As the 76ers announce Embiid's surgery for his left knee, questions loom over the duration of his absence and its implications for the MVP race.

The 2024 season, already underway, finds itself at a critical juncture, with the league, players, and fans closely watching how this rule will shape the future of the game.

Draymond Green Joel Embiid
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