With the type of schedule they’ve had over the last two weeks, Gregg Popovich had every reason in the world to want to rest some of his star players against the Miami Heat on Thursday–which is why he sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Danny Green home early. While many believe this was a very controversial decision on Popovich’s end, it almost worked out for him in the end considering how close the San Antonio Spurs were to pulling off the upset–which is why it would be completely unfair for David Stern to file sanctions against the team.
It’s no surprise to see Stern upset over the situation considering he’s only going to look at it from a business perspective in which the game was broadcasted on national television and there’s a good chance most fans bought tickets expecting to see most of the Spurs stars in the starting lineup. However, the league doesn’t have any rules related to the type of decision Popovich made–so why should Stern be allowed to file any sanctions against him and the Spurs?
What’s even more annoying about this situation is Popovich would have looked like a genius if San Antonio had found a way to hold on to the lead in the final seconds of the game. One of the main responsibilities of being a head coach is doing what’s best for your team in the long run and Popovich knew it was more important to have his stars rest than risk making them more tired for Saturday’s key game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
If Stern has such a problem with something like this–maybe he should have thought twice about giving the Spurs the brutal schedule they’ve played over the last two weeks.
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