Greg Popovich is largely regarded as one of the best coaches in the NBA. He is a mastermind not only of how to find and cultivate young talent, but also how to prepare his team mentally and physically for the long NBA season and a likely run deep into the playoffs. The fact is, the Spurs have had the best record in the NBA the last two seasons. Pop knows he has an aging team and has often weighed the pros and cons of specific matchups during the regular season so that his team is well rested come playoff time.
Apparently, David “The Dictator” Stern does not approve.
Prior to the Spurs and Heat game last night, Stern had already issued a warning to the Spurs that they better play their star players or there would be repercussions. See, Pop was planning on resting his big three: Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker.
Pop believed it was more important they were rested for a matchup at home against the Grizzlies than a meaningless matchup with the Eastern Conference Heat. This is a team the Spurs would only face in the playoffs if they made it to the finals.
Stern did not approve.
This is probably because the Heat and Spurs game was on national television and was a potentially big money-maker for the league. Stern stated, “I apologize to the NBA fans. This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.”
Since when did coaches and teams get penalized for benching their players? If Stern gets to decide who plays, what’s the point in even having a coach? The league could simply fire all the coaches and have Stern decide the starting lineups.
Stern should apologize to the NBA fans for his own moronic actions and dictatorship of the NBA. He should apologize for believing the game isn't bigger than David Stern and that he has the right and obligation to tamper with coach’s rosters. David Stern has gone too far.
Just for the record, it was a great game, with Miami coming down to the wire. The Miami Heat won the game105-100 only due to a clutch 3-point shot with 22 seconds left on the clock. So much for a boring game. So much for a blowout the fans clearly wouldn’t want to see.
The only thing that could have been better is if the Spurs actually won the game without their big three, something that would have forced Stern to either sanction them for winning a game or look like an even bigger moron.
This move by Stern has largely confused and offended the entire league. LeBron James even appeared to side with the Spurs when questioned as to whether Stern should have the right to fine teams over starting lineups.
"I don't think Pop was in the wrong, it's not in the rules to tell you you can't send your guys home," said James, who had 23 points in the Heat's fifth straight win. " The commish made his decision and everybody else will deal with it."
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