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Thread: Spurs to be punished for resting players

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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 09:58 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

    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

    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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    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 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

    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

    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 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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    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

    But what if the Spurs win?

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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 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

    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

    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.

    I have always loved the NBA, but the super teams, difficulties of small markets, and the fact that everything is about the money is really starting to wear on me.
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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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    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

    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

    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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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    This highlights two problems with the NBA. The length of the season, and the artificial compactness of the schedule. There really is no reason for a team to play 4 games in 5 nights. I understand the NBA's length is all money driven, but I find it hard to believe that the product wouldn't improve by having fewer games within the same time period. Give the players more rest, and they will be more capable of playing at a high level every game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    But what if the Spurs win?
    It isn't about winning. The ratings for this game will be crap because a big chunk of their viewing audience stopped giving a crap about this game and turned it off before it started.

    Stern isn't apologizing to the fans. He's apologizing to TNT, Gatorade and all the other corporate partners that paid the nba a lot of money to sponsor games like this.
    Last edited by Kstat; 11-29-2012 at 10:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Quote Originally Posted by Steagles View Post
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    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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    If I had shelled out money to watch a specific game only to find that they sent home essentially their 4 best players on the team, I would be pissed. There's no rule for it because it's not normally an issue. So just because they've used the tactic before doesn't make it okay.

    It would be easy enough to solve this imo. Just cut out the equivalent chunk of salary for any player who is not injured and not in the building. If I take a day off of work, even if I was sent home by my employer, I don't get paid. It should be roughly equivalent. If they're gonna sit out, they need to be there or lose the pay that they were getting for that game. If the coach then decides to not play them, that's his call. (Ignoring benefits and recognizing that nba players don't work 40 hours a week anyway)

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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.
    Last edited by Sollozzo; 11-30-2012 at 08:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Spurs to be punished for resting players

    Imagine for a moment that Pop said "Wow, all three of those guys tweaked an ankle, so we sent them home to get it looked at by home physicians." Would there be "substantial sanctions" then?

    Basically, he's getting fined for being honest.
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