The league has just announced its decision to fine the San Antonio Spurs $250,000, for Gregg Popovich’s decision to send home 4 of his best players. Our previous story covering this issue can be found here.
NBA commissioner, David Stern, released the following statement:
“The result here is dictated by the totality of the facts in this case. The Spurs decided to make four of their top players unavailable for an early-season game that was the team’s only regular-season visit to Miami. The team also did this without informing the Heat, the media, or the league office in a timely way. Under these circumstances, I have concluded that the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans.”
So basically, the Spurs are facing this punishment because they failed to inform all involved parties in a timely fashion. The commissioner decided to use this case as a precedent moving forward, and it will be interesting to see how similar issues are handled.
Towards the end of the season you will definitely see teams, that are qualified for playoffs, resting their stars. Now if the teams are potentially facing financial penalties for resting players, we can expect a lot of players sitting out games with minor injuries. However, in his statement, Stern points out that this was an early-season game, so perhaps similar cases will be handled differently come April.
Resting players in nationally televised games might be considered a disservice to the league, but it still won’t allow the league to fine teams who list their players as injured. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst covers this issue very well, predicting an increased wave of tendinitis diagnoses in the NBA.
There is no doubt that this case has a lot of different angles and certainly causes a lot of debate. You can rest assured that this issue will be brought up time and time again this year.
At the end of the day Parker, Duncan, Green and Ginobili got their well deserved rest. It just turns out to have been quite expensive.
For more NBA news and updates follow Vytis on twitter: @VytisLasaitis