Professional sports rely on fans buying tickets to the games, buying concessions, and overall fan attention. Now imagine you buy tickets to your favorite team to go see your favorite player and it turns out that the 24 year old superstar is not playing because he needs "rest". Why does a 24 year old need rest in December? The NBA season is 82 games long a player that young shouldn't need rest 20 or so games into the season. The number of players that have played 82 games has dwindled from mid-50's to about 8 to 10 and considering how the rules have changed and the advancement of the modern athlete one would think that more players would be able to play all 82.
San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich started this by resting his players, but they were older players who had more than 10 years in the association. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker can be argued needed the rest. Kyrie Irving doesn't. This generation of basketball player has been described as "soft" by some of the legends of the game and more proof of that keeps being evident. If 40 year old Michael Jordan played 82 games when he played for the Washington Wizards why can't Irving play through his "tired legs"? I heard an interesting solution from Tracy McGrady on ESPN, if a player is out because of "rest" they shouldn't get paid for the game. Fans go to watch the stars shine, not sit on a bench in an expensive suit.