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    Default Spurs to be punished for resting players

    http://m.espn.go.com/nba/story?storyId=8692304&i=TWT&w=1cdkb

    MIAMI -- San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sent stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, plus key role player Danny Green, home for Thursday night's game against the Miami Heat, choosing rest instead of playing them in an early-season showdown.

    NBA commissioner David Stern promised repercussions for the move, saying the Spurs will face "substantial sanctions" for their approach to the game.

    "I apologize to all NBA fans," Stern said in a statement. "This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming."

    Popovich sent the four players on a commercial flight back to Texas instead of playing them in a fourth game in five nights in Miami, a move he said he decided on when the schedule came out in July.

    That group will prepare for the team's home game Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, who own the league's best record, instead of playing the Heat, who came in with the Eastern Conference's best record at 10-3.

    With Stephen Jackson and Kawhi Leonard out with injuries, the Spurs will take on the Heat without six of their top players. They will have nine players in uniform.

    "It's the best thing for our team," Popovich said. "Everybody has to make decisions about their schedule. We've done this before in hopes we're making a wiser decision and not a macho decision. Perhaps it'll give us an opportunity to stay on the floor with Memphis on Saturday night."

    The Spurs have rested Duncan, Parker and Ginobili and have not had them travel to various road games several times during the past several seasons as they monitor their aging stars' minutes. Popovich said he included Green this time because he's led the team in minutes during the first month of the season.

    The Spurs played their 11th road game of the month in Miami and are at the end of a six-game trip. They are 5-0 on the trip and 9-1 on the road this season. They won at Toronto, Washington and Orlando during the past four days, teams with a combined record of 9-34.

    "Every team goes through tough months travelwise," Popovich said. "You don't ***** and moan about it. You deal with it the best way you can."

    The Heat had a distinct rest advantage, having not played since last Saturday. They prepared for the Spurs not playing their full roster.

    "Every team is different. It's not the first time (Popovich) has done it and it's not a surprise," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We're not going to get caught up in things we can't control."
    Last edited by Steagles; 11-29-2012 at 08:58 PM.
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    Personally, I am offended as a fan that the commissioner would be so power crazy. That is on acceptable on Stern's part.


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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by Steagles View Post
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    Personally, I am offended as a fan that the commissioner would be so power crazy. That is on acceptable on Stern's part.


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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    The Colts should be glad Roger Goodell never adopted this approach especially a few seasons ago when we almost went for perfection instead we have divisional matchups to end the season.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by Basketball Fan View Post
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    The Colts should be glad Roger Goodell never adopted this approach especially a few seasons ago when we almost went for perfection instead we have divisional matchups to end the season.

    Ha, no kidding! I was there in person (in incredible seats), and it will always be the most offensive sporting event I've ever attended. It was disgraceful for a team in the premier sports league in the country to do what the Colts did. You don't quit on perfection in front of thousands of paying customers (many of whom probably got the tickets as expensive Christmas presents) and millions of people across the country. The people who ran our team were scared to perfect, and that is in direct conflict with everything that a league like the NFL represents. That was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Manning only played here one more season after that game. When it's over, it's over. We dishonored our HOF QB by not letting him have that opportunity.

    Sorry to rant about that, but I can feel my blood pressure increase every time I think about that debacle.
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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Spurs do this every year. Hell I remember last year they did this when they had an 11 game win streak I think its smart and it's stupid if they do punish them. Only reason they are getting punished is it's a national TV game and stations bid big money on these type of matchups. It's still wrong though they shouldn't get punished for doing what is best for the team.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by pacer4ever View Post
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    Spurs do this every year. Hell I remember last year they did this when they had an 11 game win streak I think its smart and it's stupid if they do punish them. Only reason they are getting punished is it's a national TV game and stations bid big money on these type of matchups. It's still wrong though they shouldn't get punished for doing what is best for the team.
    But how is it fair to the fans that are paying money to see a game? The fans are the ones who are putting money into the NBA product. If the players aren't injured or have some other personal matter to attend to, they need to play.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by Doddage View Post
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    But how is it fair to the fans that are paying money to see a game? The fans are the ones who are putting money into the NBA product. If the players aren't injured or have some other personal matter to attend to, they need to play.
    They're not playing the Pistons, Bobcats, Kings, or Cavs. They're playing the Miami Heat. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are playing in this game. In this circumstance, the fans mean nothing.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by Doddage View Post
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    But how is it fair to the fans that are paying money to see a game? The fans are the ones who are putting money into the NBA product. If the players aren't injured or have some other personal matter to attend to, they need to play.
    While I don't disagree in your point, I'll put it in the perspective that:

    - they are playing against the Heat, in the Heat's home court.
    - the paying fans watching the game are mostly, if not all, Miami fans
    - while there are those who wanted to see Duncan and co. play live, in general they just wanted to see LeBron and co. providing some highlight-worthy action.

    So I think there should be no sanctions, and it shouldn't be a big controversy.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by Doddage View Post
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    But how is it fair to the fans that are paying money to see a game? The fans are the ones who are putting money into the NBA product. If the players aren't injured or have some other personal matter to attend to, they need to play.
    I absolutely hate this argument. So is it fair to run the old Spurs players ragged and with huge potential ramifications on the year. Or more accurately, is it fair to Spurs fans, who are putting money into the NBA product, to run Spurs players ragged with large potential ramifications on the team they want to support? Of course not. 4 away games in 5 days, old players, way to many games in the schedule, it all adds up to logically sitting players, especially since the coach's responsibility isn't to Stern but to his fans.

    It also doesn't help that Stern comes across as an unintelligent petulant child.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steagles View Post
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    Personally, I am offended as a fan that the commissioner would be so power crazy. That is on acceptable on Stern's part.


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    I'm pretty sure the NBA's corporate sponsors and biggest broadcast partner paying them hundreds of millions of dollars would disagree with you.

    Agree with it or not, this is a business. And Thursday night is the NBA's biggest national showcase.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    I'm pretty sure the NBA's corporate sponsors and biggest broadcast partner paying them hundreds of millions of dollars would disagree with you.
    So? We're fans.

    Fans care about their respective teams. It's only logical.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    I'm pretty sure the NBA's corporate sponsors and biggest broadcast partner paying them hundreds of millions of dollars would disagree with you.

    Agree with it or not, this is a business. And Thursday night is the NBA's biggest national showcase.
    So where is the line then? Should sponsors be able to dictate to coaches that they have to play their star players a minimum number of minutes for every national television game?

    I understand Stern's concern, but it is terrible for him to be making ad-hoc policy like this. As far as I know the Spurs haven't violated any rules.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    I'm pretty sure the NBA's corporate sponsors and biggest broadcast partner paying them hundreds of millions of dollars would disagree with you.

    Agree with it or not, this is a business. And Thursday night is the NBA's biggest national showcase.
    Hmmm, so with playoff positions on the line for some teams it's no big deal to limit minutes on your star players when you have your own position clinched by game 79-80, but god forbid you do the EXACT SAME THING at game 16 when it suits your team's needs far more.

    Stern is an insane power monger who has had a rep built by piggy-backing a game and stars that were going to TCOB without him. I'm so sick of the praise he gets when all I see is every single clear choice by him seems to hurt the game and all the things that are great about the game come from the participants themselves or pioneers, ie Bird, Magic, Jabbar, Jordan, Dr J, Gervin and the ABA. Stern had nothing to do with the MSU-ISU NCAA title game having such high ratings, that was star power pure and simple.

    I'd go down his entire list, but this is about the current issue. Stern DOES NOT FINE teams for bad trades that ruin franchises, didn't fine OKC for removing all of the Seattle fans and sponsors' ability to see NBA stars at all, let alone for one night, never fines teams for doing salary dumps that let players like Baron Davis or Sheed go to some new team on the cheap, doesn't fine Dwight Howard for pouting his way out of Orlando, and so on.

    See, in those cases it's just the game and the franchises and if their choices make for a bad fan experience then that's just the way it goes. But suddenly the Spurs work the system and they are punished for it.

    The Spurs have PUT THEMSELVES IN THE POSITION TO HAVE THIS OPTION. They have done so well that they can afford to sit players. That's exactly the same as being able to rest "injured" players in the final week or two of the season because you won enough games to not have to worry about it.




    This is a business, and specifically an entertainment business. BUT...the entertainment value comes from the drama of perceived legit competition with unknown outcomes. This is not a musical or play or rock show where the artists must perform. The entertainment of sports is seeing who will WIN OR LOSE. That's the value. So the Spurs aren't obligated to play anyone that anyone wants to see, as long as they win the game. And by the way, the Miami fans got to see a very entertaining, competitive game. So where is their complaint on money?

    Will Stern apologize to the Spurs and give them an honorary title if Duncan gets hurt in a couple of weeks? Will Stern give them that title if they go 6-14 with mental fatigue?

    No. Stern has said to Pop "You must try to win the title". It's on Pop and the Spurs to determine the best way to do that, and if they fail to do that then no one suffers more than they do. It's their ticket sales and promotional benefits on the line, not Stern's. For Stern there will always be a title winning team even if the Spurs blow it.



    One other thing. Much of this is a by-product of the newish tiered pricing approach. But this approach always runs the risk of not panning out. What if Kobe gets hurt and you paid more for the Lakers game? What if I actually did scalp into row 3 vs the Heat back in the Shaq era, only to have him get hurt early in the week and not play in that game. Did the scalper give me my money back? Did Stern fine the Heat for "ripping me off"?

    Damn it, I paid a lot of money with total disregard to the possible risk that the entertainment might not pan out exactly as planned, so put Shaq on crutches and run his a** out there.




    PS - how long before Stern fines teams for knocking elite teams out of the playoffs. You know, because it's a business and sponsors want 7 game series between Miami, NYK, LAL and OKC.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Personally as a fan I am not offended by the Spurs' move. They have always done that in the past and I understand their decision to sit their top guys. Besides, I even think Spurs fans generally do not see it as a problem. I have a friend who's a Spurs fan and he did not complain about it.

    Currently they're doing well against the Heat, so it's that one-sided as many assumed it will turn out to be.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Well, thanks to Tom Haberstroh's twitter (@tomhaberstroh), there is precedent. Pat Riley was fined $25,000 for not playing Magic Johnson and James Worthy in 1990. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/25/sp...rs-a-fine.html

    If they only fine Pop $25,000, then there's no chance he doesn't do this again. I guess Pop's lesson will be: don't do this on a nationally televised game.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by shags View Post
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    Well, thanks to Tom Haberstroh's twitter (@tomhaberstroh), there is precedent. Pat Riley was fined $25,000 for not playing Magic Johnson and James Worthy in 1990. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/25/sp...rs-a-fine.html

    If they only fine Pop $25,000, then there's no chance he doesn't do this again. I guess Pop's lesson will be: don't do this on a nationally televised game.
    Inflation makes that $42,000 in today's money. Still, $25k is a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shags View Post
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    Well, thanks to Tom Haberstroh's twitter (@tomhaberstroh), there is precedent. Pat Riley was fined $25,000 for not playing Magic Johnson and James Worthy in 1990. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/25/sp...rs-a-fine.html

    If they only fine Pop $25,000, then there's no chance he doesn't do this again. I guess Pop's lesson will be: don't do this on a nationally televised game.
    ...and that should be the message to begin with. Do not do this on a TNT showcase game. A lot of being money is being paid to broadcast and sponsor these games.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    ...and that should be the message to begin with. Do not do this on a TNT showcase game. A lot of being money is being paid to broadcast and sponsor these games.
    Then the schedule makers should do a better job.

    This is the Spurs' 4th game in 5 nights. The Heat, on the other hand, had 4 days of rest.

    How would this be competitive? It wouldn't.

    Pops did what was best for his team.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    But what if the Spurs win?

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    But what if the Spurs win?
    Then the game will be talked about non-stop on Sportscenter. All that awful, moneyless exposure.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Turns out that the Spurs might have just had a secret strategy to win the game after all.
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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    This is dumb. I know it's a business, but some fans actually want to believe it is still the game they loved as a kid. Popovich is a great coach and this is a tactic he uses on occasion. He knows the regular season is just practice for the post season for his team. Who cares if it's Thursday night against the Heat or Monday afternoon against the Wizards? It's Pop's team and his job to do what he feels is best for their success. If Stern feels entitled to fine a coach's decision, I just can't get behind that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doddage View Post
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    But how is it fair to the fans that are paying money to see a game? The fans are the ones who are putting money into the NBA product. If the players aren't injured or have some other personal matter to attend to, they need to play.
    No, they don't. They pay to see the Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs, as it says on the ticket, which they do. The Spurs and Heat are still playing. It doesn't matter if some starters are resting. It is not Popp's job to make David Stern happy. It is his job for the San Antonio Spurs to win games. He just did what was best for his team in the long run. Shame on David Stern. This is ridiculous.


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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    This is all really symptomatic of a bigger problem: the desire to make money means that there are way too many mother****ing games, which is diluting the quality of the game and the excitement of the season.

    If I were Pop next time I would tell them to travel, start them, call time out right after the tip and sub them out for the rest of the game just to make a point.

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