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Monday, December 31st, 2012 at 10:05 am  |  41 responses

Gregg Popovich Still Doesn’t Know the Rules for Resting Players


RestGate sparked all kinds of furor last month, and it cost the San Antonio Spurs a cool $250K. Still, head coach Gregg Popovich has no clue what the protocol is when it comes to giving healthy but exhausted players a rest. Per the Express-News: “The move to send Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green home before the Nov. 29 game earned the Spurs an unprecedented $250,000 fine from commissioner David Stern. Popovich said that’s the last word he’s heard from the league office on the issue. ‘I don’t know what the guidelines are,’ Popovich said. ‘I don’t know how you plan. I’m just going to do what I’ve been doing for 16, 17 years. I’m mostly concerned with the health and safety of my players, especially the ones who are a little bit older. When they need rest, I’m going to give it to them.’ With the Spurs one game into another four-games-in-five-nights set, ending with a TNT game Thursday in New York, the issue could rise to the forefront again. ‘If you’re playing four games in five nights and you need to rest somebody, I think that’s a call that I’ll make if I need to do that,’ Popovich said. ‘I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again, I’m sure.’”

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  • Vidwhal

    Dude is awesome!

  • hushabomb15

    Because he knows that going into the latter stages of the season as well as the playoffs he knows he needs fit and able bodies. Sternbot is retiring soon so I’m sure he’s gonna be on Coach Pop until the end of his reign.

    What’s more important. Ratings on ESPN (remember its not a PPV match like boxing/MMA) so your players break down until the end of the season or a team being fit (physically and mentally) going into the playoffs for a deep run

  • TV63

    Send a msg Pop! If everyone does this maybe Stern won’t schedule these back to back games all in the name of money in the future!!

  • pposse

    and the biggest troll award for the year 2012 goes to…the San Antonio Spurs

  • spit hot fiyah

    he doesn’t know the rules because there are none

  • pposse

    the nba has tv deals basically stating when the reg season starts and ends. There are 82 games in a season. Every team is playing 4 games in 5 nights around 3-4 times a year. Its not just this bozo spurs team. they need to get over it.

  • Dutch Rich

    Nice try Pop. David explained it to me like this, he said “Rich, it’s like Lamar inviting you over to the kardashian’s crib on a day when Kim ain’t even there”.

  • RayJr

    100% agreed THANK YOU

  • Seth

    Imagine if Pop rests his players for the TNT game again…

  • bike

    All coaches do this at the end of the season after they have made the playoffs and no one questions it. If they are going to punish a team for resting players early in the season, then they should also do it at the end.

  • Caboose

    I’d say it’s Stern, but sure.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    who cares

  • bill

    If they’re too old to play then maybe they should retire since we won’t be seeing them play anyway…

    Doc Rivers never did this with Pierce, Allen, or KG.

  • NBAHOFER

    Pop u cant rest multiple star players on national televised games its pretty simple

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

    Please stick it to Stern as much as possible Pop

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

    they should have the sit during the TNT game with phantom injuries…..Tim Duncan has a sore hip….Tony Parker has a bad cold…Manu has a tough cough…

  • TV63

    So sorry Master ppossee don’t beat us. Duh! everyone knows that! All teams suffering from this. Even the young teams. There’s is no reason for this. I hate seeing these quality athletes being pushed to the brink and getting injured all in the name of MONEY. Everyone wants to see the best vs the best. Give them the proper rest is all that is asked. They’re not race horses going to the Triple Crown.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sean.bankston Sean Bankston

    And maybe this is why they only won one NBA Championship… they were never fresh enough down the stretch outside of 2008. I really don’t have a preference either way with the rest issue, but I won’t criticize a coach with 4 titles. Clearly he knows what he is doing.

  • pposse

    re-read my comment young minion. What is your solution…have a shortened regular season? Cause I know the owners don’t want that. They would lost on average 1 million dollars on gate revenue alone for each regular season game not played. Please give me concrete examples of athletes getting severely injured. The only one i can think of is D Rose. If I wanted to see the best vs the best at their peak each year then screw the regular season…the season should start in the playoffs every year. You see how that makes no sense, that was by design. Cause you wanting to see the best vs the best at their very best is virtually impossible. The only way this happens is on your ps3 NBA 2k and turning off the fatigue/injury settings. Its a part of the game, thats all there is to it. Pop has been trolling about this for so dang long now, he definately gott my attention about it, dude needs to stop.

  • pposse

    or maybe tim duncan just got old, cause i dont remember him winning a ring after 31, nor do i remember KG winning one after 32.

  • Mackenzie

    Are you serious right now? How can you get so worked up over Pop being a smart and savvy coach? Tim Duncan is entering his later 30′s and Manu is getting up there as well; the Spurs are deep enough and strong enough to win games with or without their “stars” anyway. Resting players on the end of road trips and back-to-backs is absolutely the right move and though I realize Stern was looking out for his league he was wayyyyy out of line with a massive fine like that. Also I highly doubt there’s a significant amount of fans losing sleep over not seeing Tim Duncan doing his robot routine in the low-post.

  • MikeC.

    Anyone on here over 30 with the grind of 10+ years of pro ball and DEEP playoff runs on your knees? If so, go ahead and discuss why Pop is wrong. Otherwise, let professionals do their jobs.

  • MikeC.

    Tim Duncan DNP – ouchie booboo. Best injury ever.

  • bringbackthesonics

    ‘I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again, I’m sure.’” the fine really scared him. lol

  • pposse

    i lost sleep over it when Pop pulled that move against chicago two yrs ago. In fact i paid top dollar to see them play the bulls in chicago to only see the 4 time champ, 2 time mvp, best pf ever sit at the end of the bench. I’m not a top tier athlete, i’m a fan, i play different sports in my free time, but I dont see how playing 38 mins 4 times in 5 nights is so overwhelming for the athlete. Sorry i just don’t see, there probably is validity to it, but as a fan (which is what i am and not a coach or gm) i dont buy it/ i write it off as bs.

  • bill

    Since the NBA thought it would improve the quality of the game to raise NBA eligibility age maybe they should lower the retirement age for the same reason.

  • Caboose

    Wait a minute. You don’t see how 38 minutes 4 times in 5 nights is overwhelming for an NBA player? Sit down you utter moron.

  • danpowers

    im not even a pro atlete but i am 31 playing amateur basketball since im 14 years old. sometimes i play pickup games n go to training 5 times a week. on the 4th day i even start to feel my knees and after a 5th game i really need two days of total rest. regardless of their conditioning as nba players i can imagine how tough that grind is on their bodies also because while i am on my sofa or at home doing some easy exercises for my stability these guys are in the gym eating heavy iron or running drills instead of resting. pop def. knows what he is doing and his success puts him right. best coach in the game, plain and simple

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i hate to break it to you, but your happiness is not Gregg Popovich’s priority. Winning championships is. Which is why he has the best PF ever that you speak of, and not some injured beaten down guy like Amar’e. Just an example. You want a coach like Mike D’Antoni who will run his guys into the ground and render them ineffective by 30, or a guy like Popovich who actually wants to win for a sustained amount of time? —- you as a single fan, you just don’t matter. Sorry.

  • pposse

    sorry caboose i forgot to mention that you were the bridesmaid in 2012 Troll Awards. Congratulations, you’re in the big times now girl, make sure you wear your jimmi choo pumps at the award show a tight skirt and show off that re-upholstered pu**y #sillyclown.

  • pposse

    yah no shi*, but u cannot deny that Pop is trolling about this now. He might have some validity that no real rule is put into place, but he’s not taking the high road on it. He is using the media to call out the NBA offices, when he can easily pick up the phone and get the answers he is looking for. I’m not a coach, but he can just play his players limited minutes. Not rest 3 all star/ hof worthy players at once, whatever tho. If Duncan, Parker and Ginobli dont play ill be disapointed as a fan.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    why not rest them all at once? it is pretty obvious that resting them all at once is the completely logical solution. You rest them on a game you already don’t have a high chance at winning, at the end of a long road trip. Give’s them extra time to rest. You lose a game you were probably already gonna lose. You rest them separately and you become less likely to win multiple games. That’s downright stupid. — and if you know anything about the Popovich/Stern dynamic, you will understand what he’s doing, “trolling” if that’s what you want to call it, is the only way to make his point.

    .

    Read this —-> http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–david-stern-stumbles-again-in-his-failed-culture-war-against-the-spurs-194828970.html – and then tell me you don’t understand why Pop is doing what Pop is doing.

  • pposse

    i read that article before, and i read it again; this is a one sided article. I think its messed up that an NBA official tried to diissuade another team to hire a Spurs executive. Who is the guy and who was the lady who said what she said and what did she say? This article is waaay to vague. Plus I wouldn’t want to have either Larry Brown or Popavich on the 08 team…them two coaches together just shamed the country in 2004! Colangelo could have went a lot harder on him imo. The author of this article also states that the 250k fine for benching the players in Miami was bc the image was Pop trying to show up Stern. Well he showed him up and got fined for it, so how do these recent comments help his case?! It doesn’t. Its not making a point at all tho, if anything its making Stern more prone to fining them more money. Also just cause Pop called to congratulate Riley on the ‘big score’ makes him better than everyone else? I mean, what is he congratulating Riley on anways?! I’m not complaining about the decision, but Wade Bron and Bosh were talkin about joining forces since 08, u dont have to be a genius GM to pull that off. Gar Foreman would have received that same call if Bosh and Bron came to Chicago.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you realize the Author of the Article is Adrian Wojnarowski? It’s not like this is someone who just spouts off rumors. The guy breaks every big story. His information is always spot on. Always. If he says the people around Stern are, “embarrassed, humiliated and wondering why he insisted on staying until February of 2014.” then he is saying it because someone around Stern told him so. The reason he doesn’t name people by name is so they remain a source for him. His track record over the last 2 years is spotless, what he says, is worth believing, whether he names his sources or not.

    .

    The comments about the Olympics have NOTHING to do with who made a better coach. NOTHING. (blaming the loss on them, and not the idiot who put the team together is a nice bit of revisionist history anyway). But that’s besides the point, the point is, he was just listing one of many things Stern has done/supported that put Popovich in a bad light, while ignoring more egregious violations by other teams just because they are in a media market. – you don’t understand that ? or are you just reading the parts that you think you can use to support your argument?

    .

    ” The author of this article also states that the 250k fine for benching the players in Miami was bc the image was Pop trying to show up Stern. Well he showed him up and got fined for it, so how do these recent comments help his case?!” – from the article –> Stern doesn’t care about the realities of his league, just the appearances. To him, the appearance on Thursday night was that Popovich had tried to embarrass him on national television and that’s why the commissioner tossed that tantrum. Apologize to the fans? In a league where the mere appearance of players on the floor doesn’t guarantee preparation and effort, the Spurs never cheat the public. They’re honest, in a way so few are honest. When too many others wear the uniform and yet still take the night off, the Spurs come to play – or they don’t come at all.

    .

    you don’t get that it’s not about the money? is this the whole issue? you think Stern proved something by fining the Spurs? They are going to make 250K off of their first playoff game, with a healthy roster. They will win 4+ playoff games. So, a 250K fine in the regular season vs having healthy players in the playoffs & winning a series? — the answer is simple.

    .

    The point about Riley is to show Popovich understands somethings that work for other’s, don’t work for everyone (like getting three of the best player’s in the league to join up – creating a situation where that can happen).If you can make something work, you should be complimented for it, not punished – in order for Popovich to compete, annually, he feels he needs to keep his player’s rested and healthy, which, so far, has worked, to the tune of the best winning % in professional sports since 1998. —

    Stern obviously doesn’t realize not every team can go about things the same way, even if it is to the detriment of a TV audience or a few fans – the Spurs are still a championship contender, and have been, for the last 14 years, since they won their first.

    .

    Obviously what Popovich is, and has been doing is working. He should not stop. Not for you. Not for Stern. Not for TNT. Not for anyone. If he is the most successful coach ON EARTH over the last 14 years, changing his ways, would be stupid. Plain and Simple.

    .

    And if you think this is trolling you need to realize he was answering a question, not just saying things for media attention……

  • pposse

    If Pop was just answering the question he wouldn’t have said “iv’e done it before and ill do it again” i look at that as a jab, hence my trolling comment. Adrian W. can be a great of a writer as ever, but i read this article objectively, and a lot of what he says sounds like border line rumors. He doesn’t use real facts and/or sources to backup some of these claims; im not a blind follower, he is worth believing and i believe most of what he says to be correct, but i think he embellishes a lot too.

    I totally understand that this is not about the money, its about two over inflated egos going back and forth.

    Colangelo probably was masking the fact that he didn’t want Pop to coach the team bc he didn’t want him to coach the team. Fact is they lost with Pop and Brown as the coaches. Its different for him to coach them now, but when you lose, the coach is always the first to go (ask avery). No revisionist history here.

    The Spurs may have had the best winning % in the past 15 yrs, but be real the NBA post jordan until 07 pretty much sucked; no one was watching, it was un interesting and those nine years was among the worst in NBA history talent wise. ofcourse thats my opinion, i rank the 80′s and 90′s way better in talent.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    don’t talk about the Olympic team like it is an NBA team. Losing was on the players and the people who put them together. A coach isn’t going to get much done with a team of guys who have been together for 2 months. You can implement a shell of a system, but you can’t actually build chemistry & get deep into player roles. You are a very smart person, don’t be naive on purpose. You know damn well that ’04 team losing was on Colangelo (or whoever put the team together) and the players. Who aside from Allen Iverson (who should NEVER have been chosen for an Olympic team) and Tim Duncan, the team was full of guys 23 years old and younger. It was no surprise they couldn’t put it together, and they wouldn’t have, no matter who the coach is. Blaming what happened in ’04 on Popovich is a cop-out. It really, obviously, is.

    .”The Spurs may have had the best winning % in the past 15 yrs, but be real the NBA post jordan until 07 pretty much sucked; no one was watching,” – false.

    - The West had it’s highest winning % in decades from 2000-2009 (if you haven’t noticed, the Spurs play in that West, and still were winning more than any other team in professional sports) –

    - the media/viewership numbers have only gone up. Every. Single. Year. since Jordan retired. The only place where the NBA does struggle, viewership wise, is on ABC. Which has more to do with ABC, then the NBA. — just look at the TNT contract numbers, —-> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_on_TNT

    .

    now i’m not saying Popovich isn’t rubbing the situation in Stern’s face a little bit, it’s just that he’s not doing it in a trolling type manor. he only answers questions and gives his opinion on situations he’s asked about.

    .

    really we are just disagreeing, this is a fruitless argument. i clearly have an issue with how Stern handles situations, and love that Popovich highlights them in how he makes decisions. and you don’t. i have made this much more complicated then i should have.

  • Caboose

    Are you also puzzled how those MMA fighters are exhausted after three 5 minute rounds? That’s only 15 minutes! I’m in decent shape and I can run for 15 minutes, I don’t get how that’s exhausting. They should stop whining too.

  • yo momma

    But they dont happen to be playing a resed miami heat squad. And a rested New York Knick spuad on national TV. Thats the message Pop is sending. Both times the 4th game in 5 nights is the tough one. Theyre tring to get the spurs to loose. Its a rigged schedule. Look at Miami, New York, and Lakers schedule. It never happen to them.

  • pposse

    no, i am not puzzled, i did wrestling for 2 yrs in highschool and I’ll be the first to tell you that its an exhausting sport. MMA is nothing like playing bball. Its mentally and physically a lot more draining.

    I’ve heard announcers say that basketball players run anywhere from 3-5 miles per game. 5 miles within 48 mins is a lot, but even i was running 3 miles under 25 mins like a year ago, and I am positive i can get myself into that kind of shape again within a month.

  • Caboose

    Holy sh!t. Can you seriously not understand that playing basketball is not the same as running a straight line? Yeah, I can run 5 miles in under 40 minutes. But ask any post player what’s harder, running 5 miles or fighting in the post. This tells me you have either NEVER played basketball at anywhere close to a high level or you are truly stupid. You are NOT in NBA starter shape and never will be.

  • pposse

    completely negate the first part of my response to you and go to the latter portion where you think you might have a chance..but alas..never did i say basketball was running in a straight line..you said that. You say a lot of things that you think i said, but never did lol.

    You thinking that a starter in the league is far off from being a bench player in the league as far as wind and shape is concerned is beyond stupid, like those jimmy choo pumps you wear to bed. go to sleep youngin.

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