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Bulls release statement after being warned by NBA for resting healthy players

Robin Lopez

The Chicago Bulls got in trouble this week for the appearance of tanking, and the team recently responded.

The Bulls, who have one of the worst records in the NBA, decided to play veterans Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday more minutes to end the season because they had gotten a warning from the league. The warning surrounded the practice of NBA teams resting healthy players to close the season, a practice frowned upon by the NBA.

The Bulls released a statement after news broke of the league’s warning, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic Chicago.

Shams Charania of The Vertical was the first to report the league’s warning and the team’s decision to play Lopez and Holiday more.

The NBA told all the teams before the season about resting healthy players to seemingly discourage the practice, per Sharania.

The NBA and commissioner Adam Silver formally informed team owners about resting healthy players – perhaps an effort to diminish the league-wide verbiage of “tanking” – after the league moved up the start of this season to spread games out for coaches and players. The Bulls changed course on their plans to continue sitting Lopez and Holiday in the past day, league sources said.

The Bulls having to release a statement and the NBA having to warn them just goes to show how egregious the team is in tanking the season to try for a high draft pick this summer. It’s a practice that is getting more popular among bad NBA teams.

But if the league’s warning teaches anything, it’s that tanking teams have to be little more subtle in their tanking methods. Resting healthy players is just too obvious and it’s something that clearly hurts the product in various ways.

Perhaps the move for the Bulls is to try losing while Lopez and Holiday are on the floor.