Stern: Fine was ‘justified’

NBA commissionJohn Minchillo/APer David Stern has come out and defended his actions of fining the San Antonio Spurs a sum of $250,000 for sitting their "four best players" against a game against the Miami Heat in Miami.

Stern went on to say that he has no problem with the coach (Gregg Popovich), but it's about "the relationship between 30 owners and 30 teams." He also pointed out it's San Antonio's only visit to the Miami area and it was early in the season to be resting players.

Stern is no stranger to controversry and this answer of trying to clear up the situation may make it worse in the eyes of his fans and some NBA head coaches.

When the league found out the Spurs sent their stars home, the commissioner's response was that it was a "disservice" to the fans. His most recent answer doesn't mention the fans, in fact it sounds more like an answer he'd give at a business meeting. 

He then stated the night of the game that fans that went to go see the Spurs play against the Heat were disappointed at this news (even though the Spurs put forth a great effort against the defending champions).

As the majority of analysts, fans, and media personalities have pointed out, those who go to home games generally go to see their home team play, not the away team. Stern ends his response with saying it's a relationship in a league between teams and owners.

Do teams owe other teams anything?

On the contrary, you could argue Popovich did the Miami Heat and its fans a favor by giving them the best possible chance at winning a game and improving their division and conference standings. If it's not about a coaching decision as the commissioner explained, then why would Popovich want Duncan to go home (being paid by the owner who Popovich owes his job to) unless it was to rest his 36 year old legs? That scenario goes the same with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, who played for their national teams during the summer. If it's ok to rest players but not send them home, what would be the difference to fans who bought tickets if they have to see stars sit instead of sending them home? He also would have to explain why it's ok late in the season and not early. With him opening up this new can of worms, it'll have NBA coaches weary of making decisions for the good of their team if it messes with the business plans of David Stern.

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