IIRC, A coach is supposed to report his lineup of active and inactive players by a certain time before each game. Part of the reason is so the opposing team can adjust their gameplan or at least know who they can expect to match up against. My guess is that Pop didn't do this.
Some stuff I had never heard about before in this story. Might even deserve its own thread considering it goes well beyond the Spurs issue. Stern looks more and more like Vince McMahon (sp?) every day.
You are welcome J. After reading it one realize just how inept Knicks management has been. Was that illegal stuff before Donnie got there?
I would like to know how Danny Green was chosen.
A competitive product is not really the issue IMO. For one isolated game, any team in the NBA can beat any other team in the NBA. It is why even the worst teams in the NBA usually rack in about 10-20 wins a season. They have a great coach, and it's not really surprising they overachieved for most of one night.
The rationale behind the fine seems to be that they didn't play what is recognizeable as the Spurs. Yes, the Spurs have other players that play, and if those 4 don't play they are still technically the Spurs. But the four who were sent home combine to use up 49% of the Spurs minutes in games they are a part of. You had fans in Miami expecting to see those players, fans considering tuning into TNT expecting to see those players, fans who perhaps couldn't watch the game expecting to see the result of a game featuring two powerhouses, and millions of dollars being spent by sponsors and advertisers expecting those Spurs to be present.
Basically the Spurs gave a big middle finger to everybody involved. And yes, I do believe it is different resting your players as opposed to resting your players by sending them home on a flight the night before. They purposefully elected to not have their best team available when there was no valid reason they shouldn't be. They conceded the result of the game was meaningless. Sure they would still liked to have won, but they expected to lose because they sent home their best players.
As for your argument, I'm a little confused. In the second paragraph you say a competitive product is not the issue (which is good, because it was a competitive product), but then in the last paragraph you state the Spurs conceded the result of the game was meaningless, which is a problem. So competition doesn't matter as long as you admit the outcome is important? Is that why teams can tank at the end of the year (a massive middle finger to fans). Because when teams tank at the end of the year, they are admitting the outcome is important, but competition isn't. If competition is the point, the Spurs came out and should have won that game, therefore they were competitive. But based on your third paragraph, I think you are saying the problem isn't competition, it isn't importance or result, but lack of star players. If that is the only real issue, then why don't we have some "games" where star players come out on the court and just wave at people.
Furthermore, please show me the viewing figures of the game vs other TNT games, and also provide the Thursday night football games each Thursday night basketball game was up against, and then we can begin to decide whether resting players had an effect on TNT. Currently, I am of the opinion that the resting of players actually increased viewing figures. As the public is king, this would indicate that resting star players actually increased interest in the game.
Furthermore, of course it is different to rest players at home vs resting them on the road. At home they don't have to travel all day, they can eat with their families, sleep in their beds, and actually rest. On the road they are travelling for hours and not really resting up. It is logical that if you are going to rest players from a road game, and it is the last road game, you are not going to make them show up. That would defeat the purpose.
As for a middle finger to Stern, I couldn't care less. Stern's job is to run the league, not hold personal grudges against people, players and teams because they don't do what he wants. Technically, the Spurs broke no NBA laws, regulation, rules or by-laws. Stern has no justification for his anger or his punishment from any logical basis, except the obvious: He is insecure.
My point is this, Stern has embarrassed and turned off more potential fans with his irrational rants, inconsistent punishments, and obvious personal vendettas than the Spurs and Popovich will ever do by playing the game they way the think it should be played. Furthermore, I will assert, and happily argue, that Popovich has done much better at his job over the last 13 years than Stern has at his.
The above quote is what you wrote originally. And what I have bolded is what I really was arguing against. I wasn't arguing against you personally, I was arguing against the statement that you proposed. Again, whether or not you believed it or were just trolling is irrelevant because what you said could actually be a valid point to think about, even if it is probably incorrect.Quote:
Excellent point. Also, couldn't an argument be made that playing fresh players gave the Spurs a better chance of winning? Not only did they cover the final spread, but they covered the initial spread as well, indicating that the idea to rest the older players and play fresh players actually improved the Spurs chances of winning.
Can you definitely state where the line is?
He was well within his rights to fine them. Considering the "best interest of the NBA" will almost always be a financial one when you're thinking from the viewpoint of the league it makes sense.Quote:
The Spursí 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.
Have you considered the possibile future ramifications if the league didn't come out with any kind of statement for a nationally televised game? I know if I was looking to buy tickets to a Spurs game in this situation in the future, then I would look at the schedule and see if it was toward the end of a rough stretch for them. If it was, I would consider not buying a ticket to that game because though the Spurs are my 2nd favorite team, I don't know all of their players very well. I like them because I love the style of basketball they play, but I don't want to see that style sans Parker and Duncan. The point of the probably excessive fine is that they want future ticket buyers to think that they won't consider doing it.
And I have to disagree with the NFL helping injuries through scheduling. They also this season added in extra Thursday night games which actually decrease time between games. So instead of 6 or 7 days teams are having to play on 3 or 4 days of rest. The NFL players hate Thursday night games. And the league management has been pushing for an extended regular season for several years now. No, the NFL is not a good model for player health.
Many coaches rest players. Do they do it in the same manner as Pop? No. But the last time I looked, Pop is one of (if not THE) best coaches in the league. And he has a three aging stars that all also play a lot internationally. Why do you think he does it if he doesn't believe it helps his team? Do you believe he is trying to sabotage the league? The fact it occurs so rarely is another reason Stern should have kept his mouth shut and simply not scheduled the Spurs to play one of his "important games" (meaning Miami, LA, etc) as the 4th game in 5 nights on TV.
I never compared the leagues for injuries. I compared their handling of the resting players issue. The NFL publicly stated they didn't like teams resting players towards the end of the season. Especially teams like the Colts that were doing it 3 weeks before the end of the season. But instead of fining the teams and taking personnel decisions out of the coaches hands, they simply have moved more division games into the last few weeks of the season to attempt to keep teams from clinching spots too early. It may or may not work, but the point is that the NFL is handling it in a way that doesn't involve dictating strategy and playing time decisions to teams.
And you keep saying Stern is within his rights. So? Just because Stern is all powerful when it comes to matters NBA doesn't mean he should have handled it the way he did. the league has had two very recent lockouts, a ref gambling scandal, a team that had to be owned and operated by the league, 1/2 the teams have been claiming they are losing money, players are constantly holding teams hostage to dictate their terms even while under contract, and stars are affecting competitive balance by colluding to unite in destination cities - excuse me if I don't believe that something is right just because der furher says so.
If I'm Peter Holt, not only would I refuse to pay the fine, I'm beginning to push for Stern to removed before his planned retirement date.
I don't know that Stern reacted to this properly.
But I have to say, I was a little put off by Popovich. He whines for months about the schedule, no one listens, and then he just 'happens' to pick a game where he very well knows that Stern will go nuts. Pop should limit his political activism to hack-a-shaq.
I read somewhere that one of the reasons why Pop rested the Geriatric 3 on Thursday against one of marquee Teams in the East ( a non-consequential game to a Western Conference Team ) was so that they would be fresh to play a far more important game today ( Saturday )....a game against their Division rival and the best Team in the West...the Grizzlies.
Pop didn't play them to simply rest them....but...when you think of it....he did so for the long-term good of the Team.
And guess what? The Spurs beat the Grizzlies in OT at home.
Winning a game against a division rival that could very well be a Team that you will be fighting for Playoff positioning is way more important to the Spurs/Pop than pleasing corporate sponsors.
It's not important to Stern...but I totally understand Pops reasoning.
The beauty about the Spurs' situation is that it was both an issue of integrity and one with monetary value. And please stop putting words in my mouth to formulate your arguments; I did not say that the NBA should base all of its decisions on whether or not it makes money. And I very much doubt changing the ball had to do with money.
Just because Popovich likes to rest his players differently than other coaches doesn't mean he's right. He already knew it chafed the league; last season they made a statement that they would be allowing him to send home players that way because it was a unique season. You want to talk about integrity of the game? How about playing in a front of a sold-out crowd when the four healthy players who play the most minutes aren't even in the building. Take into account that Kawhi Leonard was injured too, and their entire starting 5 was not playing.
Yes, that sounds like a contest to me. For all your talk of integrity of the game, you would think it would upset you when a team decides a game isn't worth winning. I understand it's more fun to scapegoat Stern for his anger, the scheduling, the conspiracy theory that he hates Spurs, and everything else. But this is the NBA, where there are 82 games in a season. And they just took 1 of their premier matchups off so they could rest.
Some people have talked about slippery slopes of the league fining teams for lots of things, but there is one year. And it's just as plausible for the other. Would you really like to watch the NBA as much if every team rested their best players every time they had a harsh run of games? That would happen at least 2-3 times a year for clubs. So you're looking at 60-90 games that could be affected, and that doesn't even consider the games where injured players are out. Yeah, it would probably never happen like that. But it's just as likely as the league fining teams constantly for minor infractions.
There's been a bit of power struggle going on for a while on this issue and Stern has discussed it with owners. There's no way Pop wasn't aware of this or forgot this, and no way he didn't anticipate that he will put Stern into berserker mode. He probably didn't anticipate the fine, that's all.