Photo: TNT via @cjzero
Spurs coach Gregg Poppovich decided to send several of his older stars home rather than play the Heat in Miami. And while the strategy might have been sound to sacrifice one game that the Spurs were likely to lose anyway, commissioner David Stern saw it differently promising to punish the San Antonio.Prior to the game, Stern issued this statement (via TNT)…
“I apologise to all NBA fans. This is an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.”
In the end, the Spurs nearly beat the Heat with their reserves, losing 105-100. And while both sides can use the final score to fuel their argument, the result may be of little consequence.
According to Ira Winderman of the Miami Sun-Sentinel, Popovich said after the game that the decision was made when the schedule came out as this was the Spurs’ fourth game in five nights. Popovich called not playing Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker, and Danny Green, the “best thing for [the] team.”
Meanwhile, it is hard to imagine that Stern would have been as upset if this wasn’t a nationally televised game on TNT.
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