If you have not heard, there was a small controversy tonight in the league in regards to our all time favorite commissioner, David Stern and the San Antonio Spurs.
Issue was that the Spurs were in the midst of their fourth road game in five nights and decided to rest Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. Not only did Pop hold those three out, but he put them on a Southwest plane and sent them back to San Antonio.
Because of this, David Stern has said that the Spurs could face 'substantial sanctions.'
First question should be how can the league sanction the Spurs when there is no rule on the books that says a team can't rest it's three best players. Popovich has been us info this tactic since 2008 when he knew his stars were getting a lot of miles on their legs and injuries started to hurt them. He knows his job is to win games in May and June, not the second game of a back-to-back in November.
Yes the league does have an obligation to the fans, but mostly to the networks (we know how much the league loves the bottom line over the fans) to provide the best possible product it can. With how the NBA has moved to a big three model of play this was a marquee match up, combined six titles in the last thirteen years and the first game on the NBA's highest ratings night in the early season.
There are legitimate reasons for why the league would be upset about this. There are also reasons that Tim Duncan would be upset because he had to fly Southwest. We know if you're above 5'7" there is zero leg room on those flights.
If the league does fine the Spurs, they should counter suit for the league trying to control their team. Early word on the street is the league is looking at a potential one million dollar fine.
The league should be more worried about teams trying to downsize thirty places in media markets (again) instead of players playing in a five point game, that was decided in the final ten seconds of the game.
Update: The League has fined the Spurs $250,000 for sitting healthy players. The team plans to appeal.