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Friday, November 30th, 2012 at 6:45 pm  |  69 responses

NBA Fines San Antonio Spurs $250,000 for Sitting Healthy Players


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

The NBA acted swiftly following their message of displeasure last night.

The San Antonio Spurs organization has been fined $250,000 for sitting out Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green for a game against the Miami Heat (which they nearly won using their JV squad.)

Here’s the full statement from the NBA:

The NBA announced today that the San Antonio Spurs organization has been fined $250,000 for its decision to send four players home prior to the Spurs’ Nov. 29 game in Miami. The Spurs’ actions were in violation of a league policy, reviewed with the NBA Board of Governors in April 2010, against resting players in a manner contrary to the best interests of the NBA.

NBA Commissioner David Stern stated: “The result here is dictated by the totality of the facts in this case. The Spurs decided to make four of their top players unavailable for an early-season game that was the team’s only regular-season visit to Miami. The team also did this without informing the Heat, the media, or the league office in a timely way. Under these circumstances, I have concluded that the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans.”

Going forward, it will be interesting to see what tactics teams like the Spurs begin to adopt, in order to rest their veteran players without getting in trouble with the NBA.

Gregg Popovich is likely smirking somewhere, though Spurs team owner Peter Holt probably isn’t now that he’s $250k poorer.

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  • isiahone1

    Wow

  • zogs19994

    DAVID STERN CAN EAT A DlCK

  • Waskito

    The dictator has spoken…..

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    Welp, that definitely does qualify as a “substantial sanction.”

  • Rahim Shabazz

    What Emperor Palpatine says goes…or the Galactic Empire will get you.

  • K_HOLIDAY

    Wowwww. If I was Greg Popovich, I’d do it again when the Spurs play the Lakers, OKC, and whoever else y’all put them on TV against. That’s some BS right there

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Doc Rivers today on resting players: “We’ll do it when we want to do it and we should be able to do it.”

  • roscoe

    so… thanks to stern’s great work instead of saying playas are resting, teams will say….

    a) he has the flu
    b) he has bad gas
    c) he is observing a religious holiday
    d) his dog ate his homework

  • tyrantula

    its not a new tactic, this happens ALL over the NBA. Don’t punish a team for smart managing. The spurs lost by 5 points. You are disrespecting the spurs players who started in their place. These players are truly amazing to be on an NBA team something Stern would have no clue about. So if your gunna fine someone fine your self for being a horrible Commish. Stern go @#$% yourself

  • whooo!

    bench your stars to ensure you lose more games? you’ll be rewarded with a better lottery pick.

    bench your stars to better position you for division seeding & winning a championship? $250,000 fine. what a load of bullshit from this dictator of a commissioner.

  • tyrantula

    WTF. Fine a team for smart managing. You’d fine every team but the bobcats. This isn’t a new tactic it happens all over the NBA. The game was close. They lost by five points by the reigning NBA champs. That is pretty good. Stern is disrespecting the players who kicked @$$ and started in the vets place. If the spurs would have played duncan and manu how much stern would like through their career, they would be retired. It’s a good thing stern is on his way out but why not leave on a good note and not be a total dick

  • Dymez

    Dear, David Stern

    The best interest of the NBA is to have its star players and elite teams healthy throughout the season so that they can be there in the playoffs that makes for great competition. It wasn’t an abomination on the court last night between the Heat and Spurs, they gave one hell of an effort and fought tooth and nail to the very end. It seems you must have forgotten that the Spurs are very well coached, and that coach wouldn’t just mail in any game; he did this for the best interest of his team, and in doing so, the best interest for the NBA, and still had his team give remarkable effort in the process.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    Well atleast he will be gone soon

  • DarthStern

    Its Darth Stern to you. I rule the basketball universe, but inside i am a sad sAd boy

  • wotwot

    I agree with the fine, Pop is being a jerk. It’s good for his team, bad for the league. It was in especially bad taste the timing and the “league ain’t gonna touch me coz public opinion is for me” way he went about it.

  • VanCityBBall

    the stupid thing is that if Pop did this with orlando or utah (ect,ect) stern woundn’t gave 2 s’s. of course everybody has the right to be mad, but fining them for not playing? smh

  • danpowers

    nah man he cant. that wouldnt be kosher

  • Chukaz

    The reason i didn’t watch the game was because it was a Thursday and as a college student, weekend starts on Thursday. I don’t enjoy watching Tim Duncan. I don’t particularly enjoy watching Manu or Tony Parker. They’re both exciting but you know they’re good for 4 great plays between the two of them per game. They’re not insanely productive either. The Heat’s on TV all the time. This game seemed like a snoozer BEFORE we found out starters were resting. 2 of the 4 guys they rested are over 35 and have become increasingly prone to injury. Maybe Stern should make sure that teams aren’t on the back end of a long roadtrip before they have a game on national tv. In the future Pops just gonna list his guys as out with tendonitis, which is a real thing but everybody that plays has it because it comes with the territory, but its a legit excuse. Suck it stern.

  • big gigolo

    not a spurs fan but this is stupid, you are punish one of the best coach ever coaching in this business for good tactic …+ don’t forget Greg Popovich has made the spurs very competitive with the last decades in wild wild west…

  • BangforBuck

    Pop is being fined for not even having the players in the arena. They werent on the bench and not being played, they were in their respective houses!! That is a slap in the face. If you want to rest healthy players, play them sparingly, but bring them to the f******** arena!!!

  • robb

    that policy was created to avoid uncompetitive games and ensure the spectacle. Yesterday the Spurs delivered. The fine is unfair.

  • Conor

    This confirms the league’s preference of market value over the quality of competition.

  • Jone

    i understand where stern is coming from… look if the spurs needs to rest its players… pop should have rested them when they played the wiz or some other below .500 team… and not during a nationally televised game… its disrespectful to their opponent… disrespectful to the fans… disrespectful to the sponsors… the spurs only thought of themselves and not what was good for the league.

  • madrapper

    Exactly Dan, David Stern is a fucking Jew. $250,000, he’s crazy.

  • bringbackthesonics

    2014 cant come fast enough

  • http://www.facebook.com/gerwinnijeboer Gerwin Nijeboer

    C.R.E.A.M.

  • Redd

    I can’t say this enough times, after Stern is gone Silver will basically be Stern Jr. Don’t expect to wait it out til’ Stern leaves. It’s really a frustrating situation.

    And in my opinion, the NBPA is not going to step in because I feel Hunter is controlled by Stern. How else do you explain him scamming the NBPA, silencing Fisher, and then still not getting in trouble?

  • Redd

    Dude looks like the grandfather from Thornberry & Voldemort’s timid son. This is the guy who’s replacing Stern, in other words nothing is changing!

  • O

    Word. In that case, Dear David Stern: SUCK a d*ck…

  • http://www.facebook.com/trafalgar.law.146069 Traffy Law

    how can you rest in a fu*king hostile arena?

  • Caboose

    I love this. Why? Seeing what Pop does for revenge.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zer02hero15 James Franco Guerta

    Man this is unfair. They were only fined because they are playing against the Heat.

  • Toner83

    I hope Pops uses the 4th reason from now on, just to flip the metaphoric middle finger to Stern.

  • Toner83

    Memo to all NBA employees (even the ballboys): Don’t call in sick, because if you don’t show up with a valid reason, Stern may fine you.

  • Toner83

    Perhaps that’s the revenue a certain TV network lost from the “anti-climax” of the match-up? (Cough… TNT… cough)

  • bringbackthesonics

    the league didn’t exactly think about what was good for the spurs by scheduling 4 games in 5 days and ending it with a matchup against the defending champs. so if they shouldnt think of themselves who will?

  • Zabbah

    I’m gonna miss Stern. This guy brings entertain to the league. Which is why he’s such a bad commissioner. Still gonna miss him.

  • i_ball

    I want the Spurs to win the chip at home…

  • Ryan

    No doubt. It’s way past time for David Stern to go.

  • danpowers

    cmon, please dont turn my joke into mad anti semitism. i didnt mean it that bad

  • wtf

    Now Milwaukee’s turn! Skiles benched 100% healthy Ersan Ilyasova!

  • Yesse

    Unbelievable.

  • Adamd

    I think that Stern my have shot himself in the foot with his statement made before the game that he had to say ‘sorry to the fans’. Then the game turns out to be competitive and he’s put himself in a bad position, i didn’t feel that i wasn’t entertained. Could you imagine had the spurs won? Then where would he have been? He should have kept his mouth shut until after the game. At least then he wouldn’t have looked as bad, i still think hes in the wrong.

  • Max

    Wow.

  • mhm

    lol

  • charliewinning

    Sorry but I agree with this fine. As a fan I’m not paying for overpriced tickets to sit around and watch bench players. If teams want to sit players for without injuries or suspensions, then they must discount the tickets. It baffles me why there is so much outrage on here for about one corporate entity fining another corporate entity. What about the fans? Stern can dig into as many team owners pockets as he likes. Duhfuq do I care?

  • Mr. Wet

    Obviously the outraged people on here, are fans of basketball too. I , as a fan, am ok with resting players because I want to see these older guys make runs at titles. I want the best players and the best teams on the floor in the playoffs.

  • RedRum

    Ridiculous… as a coach you should be able to play whoever you want to play whenever you want. Especially when the schedule (for which Dave has large input) has Spurs playing 4 away games in 5 nights while Heat had a 4 day rest…

  • Mike Mihalow

    “against resting players in a manner contrary to the best interests of the NBA.”

    This statement has no literally merit. They don’t have to pay the fine.

    This whole thing is just making the Spurs more likable. The reigning Coach of the Year is being fined for being the reigning Coach of the Year. This could be the knew Stone Cold vs. McMahon.

  • The Mauve Avenger

    On average a McDonald’s employee makes about $11,700 a year. That’s 21 years of work Mr. Stern. I think he’s forgotten the value of a dollar.

  • BangforBuck

    by sitting on the damn bench…

  • BangforBuck

    most jobs in the world where you are paid a salary require you to justify reasons why you cant show up. I suppose you should forward this “memo to nba employees” to the rest of the work force on earth.

  • Toner83

    True, but $250,000 seems harsh when the Spurs aren’t exactly breaking the rules…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Did you read Woj’s column? Sterns been doing this stuff to them for years.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    It’s $50,000.00 a point. Fined for losing by 5 against the defending champs while using bench players and increasing attention for the league……..David Stern is a genius. A 67 year old petulant child genius.

  • melvin

    I think David Stern was kinda right though. It’s kinda a disservice to the fans. I would want my team to win, but at the same time I would like to see us winning against their best players.

  • charliewinning

    Most of these so called outraged fans don’t buy tickets to go to games. Many of these comments are coming from college kids who can’t afford to buy themselves nose bleed seats in most NBA arenas. The other day I read a comment from a fan who had never even been to an NBA game.

    When you spend money on a ticket you expect to see what your money is paying for. The dad that saved money to take his kid(s) to a game got shafted. For many families that money doesn’t come easy. Hell, even the fan who spent a couple thousand for season tickets deserves to see what he paid for. It’s easy for those who sit home and watch games for free to criticize this move, but for those of us who actually fund this league with our hard earned money Pop was out of line, not Stern.

  • Junkie

    That’s absolutely ridiculous. I understand that it’s a disappointment for the fans and I have payed and gone to games myself. A coach’s primary job is to coach the team and prioritize its success, Pop should get no blame for making the decision to bench his players especially given their recent schedule.

  • Mr. Wet

    people sitting at home watching the game funds the league too, buddy. If it didn’t. They wouldn’t televise games.

  • Ron

    That’s kinda gay man

  • pposse

    thats indirectly. You paying a comcast bill or a dish bill is not the same as the people who actually pay to go to the arena and watch the game.

  • charliewinning

    Wrong. Advertisers pay networks, who then pay the league to broadcast their games. Like I said, you watching the game for free at home isn’t the same as those of us who spend money on tickets. That cable bill you pay gets paid whether you see an NBA game on ESPN/TNT or not. Hell, if you’re watching a game on ABC you really aren’t paying for anything at all. No matter how you twist it, the Spurs got a fine they deserved.

  • charliewinning

    No it’s not absolutely ridiculous. The organization’s job is to provide the best possible product to it’s paying customers. The NBA is a business. It’s not your little fantasy league. Every paying customer matters. There are consequences for intentionally denying customers what they paid for. That includes the networks who pay the league to televise their games. This is hard for a lot of you to understand, and it’s really a simple issue.

    When you charge people or entities money for a product, you must deliver. The Spurs did not, hence their fine. Losing money will always cause a company to get the offending employee–Pop–in line.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    hey, cmon thats just wrong lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.rich.5 James Rich

    Pop gotta do what he gotta do. Kind of silly that Stern reacted that way. http://tinyurl.com/GoingtotheKnicksGame

  • DMC14

    I was trying to put into words but you have pretty much done it for me. i dont like the spurs but i dont agee with the fine.

  • DMC14

    really thats awesome news. and for some reason im reminded of that fight that happened when stern was in the crowd and the camera pans to him and he looked really pale. wish i could remember who was playing in the game. Was it bulls?

  • DMC14

    agreed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/trafalgar.law.146069 Traffy Law

    nice stupid idea. good thing pop don’t think the way you do.

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