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Does the NBA need to get the “nerds” out of the game?

Rachel Nichols and Boogie Cousins discuss the league’s 65-game postseason awards requirement, analytics and load management in the latest episode of Bully Ball on DraftKings Network.

Rachel Nichols had to talk with Boogie Cousins about a subject that has really been bothering her on the latest episode of Bully Ball.

What has Rachel reaching her boiling point? The new league requirement of 65 games played in order to be eligible for postseason awards.

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Rachel says she does not understand how this is supposed help when it comes to load management. She says, in general, players are not going to put their health in jeopardy no matter what the incentive is. To her, all the rule is doing is eliminating worthy candidates from a place of honor they should be in.

Besides not making sense, Rachel notes that this could impact guys’ money as if you don’t make All-NBA at a certain time you’re not eligible for a Super Max extension. She says the amount of money some guys could miss out on as a result is CRAZY.

Boogie says he could take a step further even — obviously, the money is a huge issue and affects a player’s pockets, but it could also affect a player’s legacy. Boogie doesn’t think it’s a realistic thing. At the end of the day, Boogie says he blames the analytics. He says the analytics are really f***ing the game up. Boogie says when he came into the league, guys weren’t taking a lot of nights off, load management wasn’t a thing. He says guys aren’t as conditioned as they were in the early 2010s when he came in. Even something as simple as training camp — when he came in there were two-a-days for the first week of camp. So now, they’re preaching load management and “preserving” players’ bodies, but at the same time it’s hurting these players and the competitive nature of the game. Boogie says we have to remove the “nerds” from the game because it’s literally f***ing up the game. No offense intended.

Rachel would say that Boogie is talking about two separate things, although the NBA agrees with Boogie on the effectiveness of load management. But Boogie says despite seeming to be off-topic, these things go hand-in-hand. Boogie says there’s no reason that Joel Embiid, who is the front-runner to win MVP, shouldn’t win the award if he misses another 10 games. It’s mind-blowing to him that as incredible a season as Embiid is having that he wouldn’t be the MVP. It doesn’t make sense. So the reason Boogie says you have to remove the nerds is that the analytics is the reason we’re at this point where guys are missing games.

Meanwhile, Rachel and Boogie had to talk a little bit about the suddenly surging Suns ...

Listen or watch the full show below and make sure to tune in to new episodes of Bully Ball every Monday at 6 p.m. ET on DraftKings Network!


NBA Trade Market, UD’s Jersey Retirement, Suns Turning A Corner? | Episode 11 | BULLY BALL

  • This week on BULLY BALL, Rachel is joined by Boogie from Taiwan where he is dominating to start his season. Plus, the duo breaks down all things NBA trade market, debate if the Suns are true contenders, and pick whether the Lakers will miss the playoffs. Plus, they discuss Udonis Haslem’s jersey retirement and the drama around it.


Check out the DraftKings YouTube page and the All The Smoke Productions YouTube page for more. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Rachel Nichols and Demarcus Cousins on X at @Rachel__Nichols and @boogiecousins.

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