Paul Coro
Los Angeles Times
April 1, 2017

NBA commercials, billboards and game tickets promote its star power.

The spectacle of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook squaring off is mentioned more than the teams involved.

So, it’s no surprise that the absence of a superstar has drawn debate, surprised television viewers and disappointed game goers in recent weeks.

Visiting baseball players can skip a night and still be seen on another night of the series. Football players gear up for only 16 games, normally with six days of rest. Golf and tennis stars play in or withdraw from tournaments at their discretion.

In the NBA, a news cycle emerges for LeBron James’ box score line reading, “DNP-rest,” similar to San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich’s use of “DNP-old” for Tim Duncan. Popovich drew a $250,000 league fine when he sent Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili home from a 2012 road trip before a national television game, a move credited with sparking the “rest” trend even though it was November.