David Stern, NBA Should Back Off From Gregg Popovich

By John Raffel

I understand how NBA commissioner David Stern feels.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich probably went way overboard by resting his players for a game against the defending champion Miami Heat. It was all set to be an excellent match up and give the NBA an excellent game to showcase.

But in the end, there’s nothing the NBA should officially do against Popovich.

Sure, fans and sports writers and columnists can criticize Popovich all they want. He has made a controversial decision that leaves himself wide open for criticism. NBA fans, the commissioner and his office, other coaches and players can get on Popovich’s case all they want.

But again, officially, it should be hands off.

This is a team matter, not an NBA matter.

If Popovich is to get chewed out, let his bosses with the Spurs do it. The Spurs media and fans can do all they want. But in the end, Popovich has one set of bosses: those who run the Spurs.

It’s too bad Tim DuncanTony ParkerManu Ginobili and Danny Green weren’t in the lineup for what would have been one of the most intriguing games of the season.

But it’s a long schedule and Popovich has a right to do what he did.

Stern is one of the best commissioners in the history of sports. But lay off, Mr. Stern.  Popovich is San Antonio’s concern, not yours.

If the San Antonio bosses want to get on Popovich’s case, fine, they have that right. Popovich has to make the best decisions for his team. It’s up to the Spurs brass, not David Stern, to determine if Popovich was correct in this decision.

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