It's almost time for the NBA playoffs, and being that we have a lot of basketball fans around the office, we're typically dialed into the latest pro ball goings-on. There are still a handful of regular season games left to be played, but most of the first-round playoff matchups have already been determined. This being the case, teams have gotten even more out-in-the-open about sitting key players to let them rest up while their backups go through the motions of the last gasp of regular season play.
The tendency of coaches to hold big stars out of games has been a sore spot in the NBA for years — fans pay to see their favorite players actually participate — but the dissatisfaction has intensified this year. Should the players be fined when they aren't injured but don't play? Should coaches not even have the option of holding healthy stars, typically the best players on the biggest teams, out of games that don't really affect the outcome of the season?
This being an IT certification blog, we're not really here to settle the debate. Although, frankly, come on, fellas. When you're rolling at a high level, don't mess with that groove just to maybe feel a little less gassed the next time you actually take off the warmups. And yes, it's fair for people to feel cheated when they fork over the cost of admission, then show up at the arena and discover that there are three D-League call-ups in the starting lineup.
One interesting angle to arise out of all of this that does relate to IT — and to all fields of professional endeavor, really — is the rejuvenation potential of stepping off the professional treadmill every now and then. A particularly cranky criticism of "resting" NBA players is the one that more or less contends, "I can't just not show up for work and expect to get paid." Most professionals, on the other hand, aren't actually expected to be at work every single day.
One of the more important reasons that employers offer sick leave and vacation days is that it's not healthy, physically, mentally, or emotionally, to be continually plugged in, day after day, week after week. Most people get involved enough in their jobs that it can occasionally seem like the hassle of stepping away isn't worth the rewards that time off can bring. Don't be swayed.
Even if all you do on your next day off is sleep late and sit at home all day, the occasional change of pace is critical to keeping yourself mentally fresh and physically alert. And hey, you don't even have to worry about being criticized on sports talk radio. Take a break — you've earned it — and come back strong.