December 1st, 2012 at 9:58 AM ^

Yeah, Stern is out of line here.  He needs to reconsider how games are scheduled, and he should also recognize that a coach like Popovich is a winner - he's not going to purposely throw games to hurt his team.  Pop is trying to rest his aging stars for the stretch run.


November 30th, 2012 at 6:40 PM ^

Super fucking lame if you ask me.  Now the comissioner can tell coaches who they can and cannot rest?  What if all of those guys got sick, then what? 

Everyone Murders

November 30th, 2012 at 6:40 PM ^

Another example of his megalomania.  Teams rest players all the time after a playoff spot is secured - it's hard to see how this is much different.  Pop is simply managing his roster.

I'm curious to see if this sticks.  My sense is that Pop's well-regarded around the league, but I'm not in the know on that point.


November 30th, 2012 at 6:41 PM ^

Is there a rule that states that a team must dress its superstars for every game?

If I were the Spurs owner I would simply refuse to pay the fine, and insist they put it to league vote amongst all the other owners. This would be consistent with making up rules as they go along.


November 30th, 2012 at 6:49 PM ^

More of the same.  David Stern has been doing whatever he wants for at least twenty years.  The only reason it's obvious now is because of the internet.  


December 1st, 2012 at 4:57 AM ^

Wow, I seem to be in the minority here but I'll reply to you WolvinLA2 since you are one of the more reasonable individuals on this board.

Anyway, I agree with Stern for the following reasons:

1) Stern's job is to promote the NBA brand, yes it is only one game, but this has the protential to be a dangerous precedence if he does nothing.

2) Consider if you were a Spurs fan living in Miami, how upset would you be if you paid top dollar to see your favorite players and instead get 40 minutes of Matt Bonner.  Yes Spurs ended up playing great, but how many people wrote that game off once they heard who didn't even make the trip?

3) This is not fair to the other teams in the league.  Yes you have to look out for your team first, but let's take a ride in my "what if" machine.  What if the Spurs played at full strength and won the game, and what if that one game cost a team home court advantage, and what if that lost home court advantage cost them the series.  Might not matter to you, but it might matter to the other team.  (Ok, I'll admit this last point was pretty weak)


December 1st, 2012 at 7:19 AM ^

1. I don't see how it sets a dangerous precedent if it's done for a very specific reason by a potential Hall of Fame coach (a.k.a. this guy's trying to win an NBA championship but the schedule is wearing down his star players).

2. I don't know...  What if you're a Spurs fan in Miami and your favorite player is a formerly popular college player stuck on the bench, like an Adam Morrison or something?  Should Popovich play Adam Morrison because the fans want to see him?  A coach already has to make his team and his home fans happy; now he's got to worry about a handful of Spurs fans living in southern Florida, too?


December 1st, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

Please define "a very specific reason"...  So yes it could set a dangerous precedence b/c now instead of teams playing their best players, they could start throwing games whenever they feel it serves their very specific reason.  Yes this can easily happen with the star's not playing with full effort, but at that point, it hurts the star's reputation so that is on them.

On a higher level, this hurts the entire NBA brand b/c now a network bidding on a contract has to wonder how many games are going to feature a team playing without its stars, or if you are an advertiser, you have to worry about buying commercial time for a game like this.

Your point for number 2 is pretty weak, if you really went to a game and had high expectations that a player that doesn't really play much to get playing time, then logic is not your best attribute...

Look, I don't disagree with what Pop did, but I don't disagree with what Stern did either.


December 1st, 2012 at 2:58 PM ^

The "very specific reason" is the reason we all know Popovich did it - he wanted his guys rested and healthy down the stretch.

Baseball players rest all the time.  Starting catchers often rest on Sundays.  Star players rest when they're going through a slump or just get tired.  Pitchers get an extra day of rest sometimes.  The Nationals shut down Strasburg at the end of the year.  Why didn't Bud Selig fine the Nationals?  Why doesn't he fine teams who rest their star first baseman?  Because he knows that it's a long season, and managers want their guys to be healthy and play well.


December 2nd, 2012 at 4:57 AM ^


You obviously missed my point about defining "very specific reason".  My point was that if you allow a team to do what the Spurs did because they have a "very specific reason", then any team can come up with a "very specific reason" to let their players miss road games.  So basically your reasoning behind having a "very specific reason" solves nothing.
With your baseball example, you are reaching now.  Yes players sit out a game here and there, but a team doesn't sit all their star players (yes it probably has happened the last week of the season, but this is not the last week of the NBA season).  Additionally, I'd bet that Strasburg at least travelled with the team even when they shut him down.
In case you haven't already read what Mark Cuban thinks, follow the link:

West German Judge

November 30th, 2012 at 7:12 PM ^

*If* Popovich was trying to send an implicitly insubordinate message to the NBA about the horrendous road trip they were on (which, like, whatever, the Pistons had it worse to start the season)-6 games in 9 days-then I can understand Stern fining them.

But then I remember that he's never ONCE addressed teams that tank the end of the season for more ping pong balls, and am so glad that smarmy little man is stepping down soon.


November 30th, 2012 at 7:20 PM ^

Pop has been doing this for a couple years now. He did it last year because of the shortened season schedule, and the impact on his aging stars - AND NOTHING WAS SAID OR DONE BY THE NBA. There is NO precedent for this. David Stern is just a complete ass! I hope Holt refuses to pay and on the next road trip Pop brings everyone and then sends Pop a BIG F/U by sitting all his starters.

restive neb

November 30th, 2012 at 7:33 PM ^

I hate Stern with a passion. The NBA ceased to exist for me a couple years ago because it no longer seems like a real sport. Stern learned the wrong message from the Magic-Bird era, and has marketed it around personalities instead of the team sport it should be. Bird and Magic were so successful precisely because they elevated the team. Stern is now desperately trying to salvage a league on the decline because he's lessened the value of his product, and he's lashing out at anyone he can blame for his problem.

Sometimes when I hear Dave Brandon's thoughts on marketing M football I'm fearful he is going down a similar path.


November 30th, 2012 at 7:47 PM ^

I wonder whats going to happen if players start getting "sick"???  Are they going to have league doctors checking everyone out to see if they are sick?  or if they are having back spasms?  or any other generic excuse players make to sit out of games.


November 30th, 2012 at 7:53 PM ^

Hold on I agree with stern on this one. That was the only time this season (regular season) the spurs play on the road at Miami, say for instance your a die hard spurs fan, or a die hard Tim Duncan fan, Tony Parker, ginoblli or whatever. You pay your hard earned money to go see them play your hometown heat you'd be very pissed if your favorite player stayed home because he was tired. To a lot of fans the nba is player driven and the spurs are a very popular team. I do think 250 bands is kinda harsh.


November 30th, 2012 at 8:07 PM ^

But that's life, man.  I've gone to many sporting events and my favorite players aren't playing.  What if Tim Duncan had played, and hurt his ankle?  Then the Tim Duncan fan who had tickets to the next game couldn't see him.  Or what if Duncan had played, but because he had played so many games in a row, he just played poorly?  Is that any better?  Or what if you bought tickets to the Spurs playoff games, and they narrowly missed the playoffs because the coach never rested his older players?

Coaches are hired to make decisions that are best for his team winning.  If Pop didn't rest his team, they wouldn't be able to play as well in the playoffs, which is more important than a road game during the regular season. 


November 30th, 2012 at 8:54 PM ^

What about injuries? Say that I drop a couple hundred bucks to go watch my team play, and in the first minute of the game Superstar X hurts his ankle, and they rest him for the rest of the game? He easily could have played in the second half, but to take a precaution, they rest him.

Do they get a fine then?


December 1st, 2012 at 12:52 AM ^

But why not blame the schedule-makers that gave San Antonio 6 road games in 9 nights (4 games in 5 nights!!!) and Miami 5 days off prior to this matchup? Conspiracy or not, that's a tremendous advantage to the defending champions on the national stage, isit not? Greg Popovich decided "eff that" and rest was more important for his aging stars. 4 games in 5 nights, on the road, is brutal for any pro league.



November 30th, 2012 at 8:00 PM ^

I've read that Stern doesn't want the Spurs to set a precedent that makes resting players commonplace. But what kind of precedent does this set? Will the league start combing boxscores for suspicious DNP-CD's? Will players have to get approval from an independent doctor to sit out with an injury? All this does is make David Stern look like an ass.

Plus, fan reaction is overwhelmingly on the Spurs' side. My guess is Stern thought fans would be applauding him for this. Just a huge miscalculation. Can't wait for him to retire.


December 1st, 2012 at 12:57 AM ^

If you really want to solve the problem, then create some parity in your league! It's not rocket science...teams don't rest stars when they need them to win games, and you need to generally win games unless you're just THAT much better than the teams around you and have that big of an advantage in the standings.

Besides, you really think SA wants to do this? You think their owner likes seeing the stars they are paying millions of dollars for sitting on the sidelines? Stern's "concern" is ridiculous.


November 30th, 2012 at 8:04 PM ^

What would Stern do if the Spurs orginization refused to pay the fine? Apparently Stern is not only acting as the a general manager by not authorizing certain trades... he's now dictating how teams set up their rosters and play their games. His retirement can't come soon enough! He has effectively watered down the NBA product by over exanding the leagues footprint, and by selling his soul to bad basketball. His decisions are based upon what he personally wants, not what is better for the league. While Popovich shouldn't have sent his star players home, it's ultimately his and the orginization's decision. If he's so concerned about fans who pay to watch his NBA product then he should shut down the Bobcats.... they're a crime against humanity.


November 30th, 2012 at 8:19 PM ^

F**k David Stern.  I'm not an NBA guy anymore and really don't watch.  I've been paying attention to this non-story story the past 24 hours though; I tuned in to the game only because what Popovich was doing (well, and they were actually winning and should have won).  Just like most things in life this is a bunch of hypocritical bullsh*t.  Sorry to the "fans" that went to watch their team but missed out on their "stars" not playing; but honestly, boo hoo, sorry for ya.  The TEAM they went to watch almost won anyway.  When the Spurs are winning in May and June it'll partially be because of the great coach they have and then to some extent the decisions he makes throughout the course of a season.

But let's fine the sh*t out of the organization/coach for making a decision based on the health of his team and the overall bigger picture which is the NBA season.

Also...I went and saw the Braves twice this season (on the road) and both times Chipper Jones had the day off.  I wasn't mad or upset; it's life.  It's what happens.  I went to the games to see the team.  I understand basketball is a more "star" oriented sport and that it's not as much of  team game as baseball and football...but too bad.


November 30th, 2012 at 8:26 PM ^

This is just absolutely epic douchebaggery. Imagine if the Spurs had won. And it was close, too.

So if Stern can fine teams for not putting what he considers an acceptable product on the floor, why hasn't he done anything to the Pistons lately? That's just a crappy show.  


November 30th, 2012 at 8:29 PM ^

As an mgoattorney, i feel as though i am in a unique position to comment on the legality of this matter. In my expert analysis, this is kaka horseshit. Glad i could contribute.

But in reality, save for some contractual agreement between the teams and the nba stating that a coach must play high earning players etc, this seems to be utter crap. More than anything stern is trying to be a "fans" commissioner by showing he wants to give people entertaining basketball. Seems to have exponentially backfired.