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Should We Blame Analytics For Kawhi Sitting Out?

Last week, NBA All-Star Kawhi Leonard was inactive for the Los Angeles Clippers’ nationally televised matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Kawhi’s absence was attributed to ongoing load management, which led to public debate over whether the practice has gotten out of hand and could ultimately hurt the league. On today’s show, we unpack the merits of load management in the modern NBA and discuss how we would change the regular season.

Also last week, the eligibility of two prominent college athletes was called into question in two separate cases. Ohio State defensive end Chase Young was held out of the Buckeyes’ game against Maryland, while Memphis center James Wiseman was declared “likely ineligible” by the NCAA. Both student-athletes are projected to be among the top picks in their respective drafts in 2020. These decisions were met with condemnation and confusion from the sports community. We debate whether the NCAA risks alienating young players and whether these actions were justified. Plus, Neil gives a hot take of his own on how to revolutionize college athletics.

Our Rabbit Hole caught us by surprise and took us deep into the history of former NFL teams, their unique names and their tragic records.

What we’re looking at this week:

Grace Lynch is the former producer of Hot Takedown.

Sara Ziegler is the former sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine was the acting sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Geoff Foster is the former sports editor of FiveThirtyEight.