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Thursday, November 29th, 2012 at 8:25 pm  |  97 responses

NBA to Punish the San Antonio Spurs for Sitting Out Their Star Players


Most people had a good laugh earlier today when Gregg Popovich elected to rest Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green for tonight’s nationally-televised game against the Miami Heat. The NBA office wasn’t amused, however, and issued a statement that they plan to heavily punish the Spurs for their act. Here are League commissioner David Stern’s acidic words: “I apologize to all NBA fans. This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.”

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  • ripslam

    Stern being Stern.

  • 23

    As a basketball fan it was very disappointing to hear that pop was benching everybody. BUT I would not ever question the methods of a basketball genius like Pop. And if Pop is indeed punished, it will be extremely wrong and immoral. So now is the nba gonna punish every team when they bench a non injured player? Or is it only going to be a fine when its against Miami on national tv?

  • NinjaByNight

    Sounds like greed to me. I bet if it wasn’t a nationally televised game stern would not care. Coaches have control of when to play or rest players.

  • KevinWarren

    If I had paid for tickets to the game, I’d be looking for a refund. Pop didn’t just rest a player or two, he turned an NBA game into a glorified scrimmage. Hardly worth the high price of admission. Sure glad I’m not a betting man. Pop just handed the win to all those betting on the Heat. He’s as guilty of fixing the outcome as that ref, Tim Donaghy,was. Shame on him.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    San Antonio’s up 5 after the first quarter. Would be funny if the Spurs get punished despite a win…

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    Pop looking out for his older players….how disgusting and worthy of reprimand…

  • Redd

    That’s incredibly stupid.

  • Redd

    Good for him for doing his job, not doing what the league wants. He was hired by the team, not the league.

  • ash

    Its stern and nba fault for making such a crappy schedule…10 games on the road since last tuesday

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Reggie Miller: As a competitor, I wanna play against the Heat if I’m Tony Parker

    Barkley: Of course Parker wanna play against the Heat, he’d be going up against Mario Chalmers!

    Chuck’s making the game worth watching by his damn self!!!

  • Bored

    this is ludicrous!

  • KevinWarren

    And you are incredibly rude. Don’t agree? Fine. Post your alternative view. Wow.

  • Dymez

    I’d like to see Stern try. There’s nothing in the rulebook for this. Pop has been doing this for years. And let’s be real, the Spurs aren’t box office, 90% of the people who are watching and attending this game are doing so solely for the Heat. Spurs fans aren’t even mad because they’re used to this and understand why.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Maybe Stern should just retire today. No need to wait until February.

  • tom

    Pop could manage Sterns Minutes too

  • Mike Mihalow

    This is the Spurs 17th game of the season, 4th in 5 days.
    This is the Heats 14th game of the season, 1st in 5 days.
    Stern should be punished for allowing such a crappy schedule.

  • 23

    And Miami hasn’t played in 5 days.

  • 23

    It’s a close game! The game was not handed over you idiot.

  • Vince

    Stern: “I’m sorry to all NBA fans, I’m going to sanction a team for resting their players and making a good coaching decision, this isn’t NBA Basketball, this is a business.”

  • KevinWarren

    And another rude person. Close or not, the game was changed when Pop pulled his stunt.

  • Redd

    How is that rude? I said the idea of throwing dirt on Pop is stupid, because it is. Pop is doing his job. Apparently his job is to entertain fans, sadly it really isn’t.

    And by your theory NFL coaches who sit players when they feel they’re banged up are guilty of fixing? That’s idiotic.

  • Ash

    Yeap after 7 games in 10 nights with 6 on the road

  • Caboose

    Ahem, let me sum it up. F*ck David Stern.

  • Conor

    You can’t suddenly disallow a managerial decision. So Stern is saying that it would be alright if S.A.S. started everyone, called a timeout immediately upon possession, and sat them anyway? What right does the League have to do this now?

  • Junkie

    How is this different from resting the starting lineup during a blow out? Fans don’t get to see the stars play either way but no one complains in that case.

  • thesage

    Retirement can’t come early enough for Stern.

  • Bored

    if this goes through, he is going to have a riot on his hands!

  • K_HOLIDAY

    They’re gonna punish the Spurs for embarrassing Miami with 9 dudes not named Parker, Ginobli, or Duncan.

  • SpursGal0718

    whoo hooo! Good job pop for not succumbing to greed and being a COACH not a puppet for the NBA

  • Bored

    yeah he is senile.

  • The Mauve Avenger
  • Caboose

    Cosign.

  • Caboose

    If he does…is that a reason to get him out? If so….do it Stern.

  • Dacre

    Unacceptable that Miami didn’t flog this lineup????!!!

  • pposse

    THANK YOU!

  • Bored

    lol, YES!….he had his chance to make some reasonable decisions before he left but he cant help but be his predictable self it seems.

  • Ron

    Blame the schedule makers as much as I hate pops decision it is the right thing to do although unfortunately it may set a precedent for this type of shenanigans in the future

  • Moose

    Let’s be real. This is bull.

  • Caboose

    If he left when Jordan retired, he’d be seen as a great commissioner, one of the best sportsmasters of all time.

  • Caboose

    They only lost by 5… LOOK AT THEIR STARTING LINEUP. Pop is a genius.

  • Bored

    no doubt. he has done a lot of important things for the league. its just a shame that his methods are so business driven.

  • The Fury

    Yeah, they almost won the game. The whole game was exciting, Nando with the costly turnovers (bad pass and giving space to Ray Allen after the inbound and then fouling him), but he’ll learn. This is part of Pop’s training the young ones on the court.

  • pposse

    the league could care less..its about the people! Pop needs to take a lesson from the Rock!

  • Caboose

    Agreed.

  • The Fury

    So did you get one??

  • Caboose

    Under the guise of “for the fans.”

  • 23

    Ok first you said the spurs handed the game to Miami, now you’re just saying they changed the game? Ok yeah you’re more than an idiot. You’re a stupid idiot.

  • Bored

    “for the fan$”

  • Bored

    harsh but true.

  • pposse

    stop!..refer back to last year and your argument is null and void. Grown professional athletes can handle 4 games in 5 days.

  • Justin Martinez

    Stick to your guns. Told you that you were right.

  • Redd

    And Pop could care less, it’s about his players.

  • The Fury

    Just a thought…what if Pop replaces Stern as the NBA Commisioner?? Maybe he’ll rest all the teams during Christmas Eve…lol.

  • The Fury

    The amazing thing about this Spurs’ team, without all of their primary players, they still manage to score 100 pts. against the defending champs. This practically means that they have the deepest bench in the NBA right now.

  • KevinWarren

    And you’re a coward hiding behind Internet anonymity.

  • M Cho

    ….until they tear their ACL and MCL.

  • Redd

    If he gets taken out, his lackey will take over. Won’t matter sadly..

  • Kiam Pennington

    SAN ANTONIO SPURS IN CONTACT WITH ALLEN IVERSON’S MANAGER GARY MOORE THE BIGGEST UNDERCOVER SUSPENSION IN SPORTS HISTORY IS OVER! #THECOMEBACK

  • Drig’r

    If this happens, Spurs, welcome to “Basketball Reasons”.

  • Yi-Cheng Chen

    true. total embarrassment for the team and miami heat fans.

  • TimProvise

    So first Stern tells players how to dress, Refs how to Ref and Now he is telling coaches how to coach? Just Leave STERN

  • EJ

    Complain all you want, but every NBA fan would want Pop to coach their team.

  • hambone

    The teams have a roster,the coach can play who he sees fit at any point.Whats next ? Stern fining teams for not playing HIS preferred starting 5?

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    Boo hoo. 48 minutes ain’t sh#t compared to what alot of you work in your daily lives at jobs which suck much more. I don’t feel for either party

  • bringbackthesonics

    why fine a team for almost beating the defending champs without their 3 best players

  • AMac

    Last I checked, Stern was hired to run the league, not the Spurs. Poppovich has the right to play – or not play – whoever he pleases. Shouldn’t Stern be worried about more pressing matters, like why James Harden’s overgrown beard, or Anthony Davis’ unibrow are probably stretching the boundaries of the dresscode? Or how about if maybe KG’s shorts are just a centimetre too long?

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    Well basketball is entertainment. It is not actually important.

  • danpowers

    id also say f*ck stern on that one. pop did the right thing from a coaches standpoint. id just be a little p*ssed as a fan who paid money to see that game

  • wet

    It’s not that uncommon. You sit players that are tired all the time. Shaq rarely played back to backs in phoenix. Pops been doing this for years. Playeres sit out the last week of regular season all the time before playoffs. The bottom line is, I get that it sucks for the fans. But Pop isn’t an entertainer, He was hired to win championships.

  • pposse

    naw, give me thibs

  • Yesse

    David Stern can kiss Pop’s ass.

    He has been coaching for years andif he wants the bench warmers to start next game, so be it.

  • irondan21

    The regular season is a marathon not a sprint. Guys need their rest. The Heat r so fresh we likely wouldn’t win the game anyway. Playoff teams in multiple sports do this all the time towards the end of the season. So what’s the problem (the answer is Stern).

  • Anon

    That is not what you said. I quote your post above “That’s incredibly stupid.”

    How about you use your words and explain why you disagree

  • The Fury

    Thibs?? Bulls are mediocre at best right now without Rose.

  • Anon

    The Spurs lost. That’s all that matters.

    You should learn how to express their views and opinions without name calling. Grow up.

  • Mike From Spain

    Calling an idea stupid is different to calling someone stupid. It is not rude.

  • Mike From Spain

    OK, 23 was rude.

  • Mike From Spain

    If you had any doubt whether the NBA is a sports competition or Show biz, this should clear it.

  • SirGrey

    The only thing I see bad about it in general is not being able to see how you match up with a potential championship opponent if you’re the Heat.

  • Mike From Spain

    One question… if playing too many games wears out the veteran players and they get injured, thus missing more nationally televised games, is that good for the business? Stern is not doing the NBA a favour.

  • Max

    The Spurs play nice ball anyways.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    naw, last season they played 66 games, not 82. you can’t make that argument unless you know what happens to guys after 82 games of last seasons schedule.

  • pposse

    yah but last year teams had on 3 separate occassions back to back to back games plus 4 games in 5 nights in what seemed like every other week. This is probably a one time occurrence for this year, plus they just played the wizards and magic..i sh** you not i walk past the verizon center every day and when the Wiz were playin the Spurs i was contemplating on getting a ticket to the game cause I never seen Duncan play live, but there was doubt that he would actually play so i walked right past the scalpers and went home.

  • pposse

    Pop always had a top all time ball player anchor his team. How do we know what type of coach Pop would be without Tim Duncan?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    so what? protecting against fatigue is protecting against fatigue. The guy does have 4 championships and the best winning % in professional sports over his time as head coach for a reason.
    .
    and no offense, but a couple people (out of town fans / people who want to watch out of town players) buying or not buying tickets from scalpers, who ALREADY BOUGHT THE TICKETS really really really doesn’t matter.

  • pposse

    okay i could just walk inside and get a ticket from the ticket master location or i could have planned it like i did two years ago, will that make me matter then..there is really no difference…your just trying to pick a fight now for the sake of trolling. All you guys need to stop half stepping, stop prefacing your so called ‘diss’ with a “no offense” or any other half step remark, cause we all know you are trying to offend someone, be real fam. And back to the point, you can’t seriously be fatigued from one month of playing basketball haa thats laughable. So 30.6 mpg makes a guy huff and puff nowadays? please, your tyring to tell me a guy plays 2 hours of basketball in 5 days, with NO practice in between and is fatigued? the jokes on you

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    first of all jackass, it’s not about fatigue today. this is about championships. try and get the big picture, rather than the one you have painted with finger paint in your brain.
    .
    do you want me to be insulting? cuz i can ^ see? I said “no offense” because your point was ignorant (not YOU, what you SAID). if you are really naive enough to think a few passer by fans or a couple people contemplating coming into a game, or even a person who has to plan out the specific games they go to are what matters here? you are either in for a rude awakening or in flat denial. The TNT deal with the NBA is worth $940 Million dollars a year.

    .

    You think this is the only time San Antonio has done this?

    .

    Are you arguing from a complete state of ignorance?

    .

    What happened against Phoenix last year? Do you know?

    .

    Well i’ll tell you.

    .

    Not only did Popovich not send his stars……he didn’t even show up. ( http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201204250PHO.html )

    .

    Did Stern say anything then?

    .

    And don’t come at me with the hypocrisy that is last seasons schedule, Pop had only ONE player playing over 28.5 minutes a game. — if ever there were a case for a team not being fatigued, it was them.

  • pposse

    so why did u argue fatigue? are your reneging on your last post?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    are you kidding*? you don’t understand the idea of sitting guys so they are fresher later? lack of fatigue + playoff grind = chance at a championship. use your brain.

  • pposse

    your arguments are on ADD take an adderall and concentrate, i said your trolling cause of your blatant diss in response to me wanting to go and see the Wizards and Spurs game. That’s clearly written, go look at the post, concentrate, read it again and again and maybe you can understand that. I could care less about Sterns vendetta against the Spurs, i really don’t care. I also am not worried about fatigue as I stated its the first month of the season TD plays 30.5 mpg and he is fatigued? This doesn’t add up and you know it, Pop took the chance to screw over Stern the minute he was open to. I’m reasonably guessing that this was planned out way in advance, like when the schedule came out.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you cannot read. maybe you are emotionally compromised idk.

    you said.
    .

    “okay i could just walk inside and get a ticket from the ticket master location or i could have planned it like i did two years ago, will that make me matter then..there is really no difference…your just trying to pick a fight now for the sake of trolling”

    .

    i said

    .

    “I said “no offense” because your point was ignorant (not YOU, what you SAID). if you are really naive enough to think a few passer by fans or a couple people contemplating coming into a game, or even a person who has to plan out the specific games they go to are what matters here? you are either in for a rude awakening or in flat denial. The TNT deal with the NBA is worth $940 Million dollars a year.”

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    WHO CARES IF IT WAS PLANNED?
    .
    The Schedule Makers shouldn’t have put the Spurs in position to play their 4th game in 5 nights, and 6th in 9 and last game of a road trip on National Television against the defending champions.
    .
    you need to SEE the BIG PICTURE.
    .
    What games does San Antonio basically guarantee they win by playing their stars….the ones against Washington and Orlando, or the one against Miami?
    .
    What matters going into the playoffs…..how many games you win? or who you beat?
    .
    Sitting them against Miami had to do with preventing future fatigue/injury, getting an extra days rest, in preperation to play a DIVISION opponent who is also competing for the #1 seed in the conference.
    .
    What would you rather do, win 3 of 4 possibly 4 of 4 on the road against out of conference opponents only to go home less then a day after flying across the country to play the other best team in the conference…….or get extra rest out of the trip, enabling your best players to be fresh in a game that LITERALLY MATTERS MORE?
    .
    use your brain.

  • pposse

    the second you say ‘you dont matter’ or whatever idk in what reference its too, is when any normal human will get defensive. Yah i know individually i don’t matter to a multibillion dollar entity, i dont really dont need you to say that to me. Like i said the original post was about the fatigue factor, and playing 2 hours of bball in 4 days is hardly fatigue in my book, ESPECIALLY the first month of the season. This is acceptable in certain situations, fine, like at the end of the year when your playoff seeding is locked up. Hell, if they beat the Heat yesterday and beat the Grizzlies on Saturday they would be number one in their division.

  • pposse

    i would rather win all of the games, im a competitor thats how i see it. Mind you i come from the city thats seen 72-10, i been told you our mentalities are not like yalls, we’ve been blessed with the best, and i guess sometimes its a curse when tryin to explain bball to you guys. lol im jk but i gotta go, i would carry on with this, but i seriously have to go.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    What if they still lost to the Heat and were too tired to beat the Grizzlies? —- you may not think there is fatigue involved in all of that traveling and playing. but that doesn’t mean you are even close to being right.
    .
    but then again, it is probably easy to travel to 6 different cities in 9 days, play 6 basketball games, 4 of which coming in the last 5 days, at an NBA level without getting tired. What am I thinking? That they are human?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    we are talking about San Antonio with an aging Tim Duncan, not a 32 year old Michael Jordan in Chicago.

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