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How Spurs could have avoided Stern's wrath

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08:02 AM ET 12.06 | Commissioner David Stern added some transparency to his hardline stance against San Antonio. [While in New Orleans, Stern] fielded some questions about the $250,000 fine he handed the Spurs for resting Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green against the Heat a week ago. Stern defended his action and hinted that he might have intervened to prevent the benchings had the Spurs informed him of their intent before sending the players home from Orlando. "The beauty of that is I don't know," Stern said. "It depends. I said it's the totality of the circumstances. I would suggest to you if we had been notified it wouldn't have happened. So maybe from their perspective they did the right thing, but not from mine."

San Antonio Express-News

Gregg Popovich, Getty Images Gregg Popovich, Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
December 6, 2012  08:29 AM ET

"Stern defended his action and hinted that he might have intervened to prevent the benchings had the Spurs informed him of their intent before sending the players home from Orlando."

Which is exactly why he wasn't told. It was the 4th road game in 5 nights, and had the Spurs starting group taken the floor, they would not have won and risked injury. And certainly would not have had the energy to compete against Memphis two nights later. Stern's concern for the health of the players took a backseat to the TV $$.

Stern needs to apologize for the bad schedule and take steps to fix it. Instead, he wants to keep blaming the coach for doing the right thing.

Comment #3 has been removed
Comment #4 has been removed
Comment #5 has been removed
December 6, 2012  09:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Stern should get fine for giving that schedule and then fining the Spurs. He is wrong on this one. You can tell he has favorites. If Memphis was the first night of the last back to back and they sent the same 4 home then Stern wouldn't care because the 4 would be ready for the Heatles...

Yes, agree. What amazes me is the press doesn't ask the question as to what Stern will do to address the schedule. And it's really a simple thing to avoid this kind of situation by checking the schedule in the pre-season to see if you have any teams that match up like this (4th game in 5 nights vs. team with multiple days of rest, and a televised marquee game).

I wish at least one reporter would just ask about whether some schedule check is needed.

Comment #7 has been removed
December 6, 2012  09:32 AM ET

Seriously? He would have 'intervened' to prevent the benching had he known? Geez now I'm glad Pops was cryptic about it. This is exactly the garbage I feared this path was taking us where the league wants to interfere with who plays and when.

December 6, 2012  09:35 AM ET

Stern is a jerk. His protege in the NHL is a jerk. Sounds like a trend.

December 6, 2012  09:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

he doesn't have to apologize for the schedule as ALL teams have those stretches. its not his fault that the spurs are olderIts also not his fault that SA has to go on an extended road trip every year cause of the rodeo or whatever takes 2 weeks to do in the domeIts is a professional basketball league- these are athletes- but it still is the coaches decision on who plays.

What Stern did with the fine was exacerbate a bad situation. The union doesn't care about the fine, but by taking such a hardline stance in enforcing a really bad schedule, Stern has virtually assured scheduling will be an issue next round of collective bargaining. The specter of Stern will continue even after he's gone.

December 6, 2012  09:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Bottom line is they should've been at the game.didn't have to play, but they shouldn't have flown home

Good point, but I disagree, why should these players be at the game in street clothes??? I could see it if it were a playoff game, but it is just another regular season game.

December 6, 2012  09:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

What Stern did with the fine was exacerbate a bad situation. The union doesn't care about the fine, but by taking such a hardline stance in enforcing a really bad schedule, Stern has virtually assured scheduling will be an issue next round of collective bargaining. The specter of Stern will continue even after he's gone.

Good point and Sterns set a dangerous precedent when he fined the Spurs, as he will now have to fine any other team in the future, that rest their starters!!!!

December 6, 2012  10:16 AM ET

Eff Stern.

December 6, 2012  10:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Good point, but I disagree, why should these players be at the game in street clothes??? I could see it if it were a playoff game, but it is just another regular season game.

Because it's a team game? I know that when I was in organized team sports, you were required to be on the bench/sidelines supporting your other teamates. Why would this instance be any different?

December 6, 2012  10:21 AM ET

Would Stern have had a problem if Pop had started these players then pulled them a few minutes into the game? I don't think so.

December 6, 2012  10:22 AM ET

Micromanaging Is A Losing Cause, Bro.

December 6, 2012  10:24 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Would Stern have had a problem if Pop had started these players then pulled them a few minutes into the game? I don't think so.

Actually I hope they do this next time. I think Stern would have a very difficult time fining them for it but it would still piss him off. I'm sending this in for consideration.

December 6, 2012  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Would Stern have had a problem if Pop had started these players then pulled them a few minutes into the game? I don't think so.

Damn that's a good idea!!! Send your idea to POPs and I hope he does it, just to piss off this idiot Sterns.

December 6, 2012  10:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Because it's a team game? I know that when I was in organized team sports, you were required to be on the bench/sidelines supporting your other teamates. Why would this instance be any different?

I see your point and it should be that way in High school or College, but come on, this is the NBA.

 
December 6, 2012  11:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

I see your point and it should be that way in High school or College, but come on, this is the NBA.

Still a team sport isn't it?

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