NBA Commissioner David Stern decided to fine the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 yesterday for the decision by Gregg Popovich to rest his players Thursday night vs. the Miami Heat on a nationally televised game.
Here is what Stern said in a statement:
“The result here is dictated by the totality of the facts in this case. The Spurs decided to make four of their top players unavailable for an early-season game that was the team’s only regular-season visit to Miami. The team also did this without informing the Heat, the media, or the league office in a timely way. Under these circumstances, I have concluded that the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans.”
The fine is a controversial one. Players are rested all the time in this league and singling out one occasion like this and laying down the hammer to the tune of $250,000 seems a little harsh.
The idea of resting players is somewhat of an issue in this league. It shouldn’t be the way or the best strategy and for a team like the Spurs and Popovich, in this case it was. Stern is looking at this from a business prospective and Popovich is just trying to do what is best for his team.
There’s one team that we never have to worry about this happening to and that’s the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder proved last night just why they are the best team to watch in the NBA. On a night to night basis, they play with so much passion and energy that they can turn any ordinary regular season game into a playoff-type atmosphere.
Fans can say all they want how as long as their team is ready for the playoffs, that’s all that matter but the Thunder are more special than that. Being a fan of a team means watching your team every night. And there is no team that provides a better experience in that department than the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It’s the culture they have in OKC led by their two stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. They work harder than anyone else, every single day.
Imagine head coach Scott Brooks trying to tell Westbrook, who hasn’t missed a game since middle school, that he will be resting him on a nationally televised game vs. the Heat. Not happening.
The same goes for Durant who would probably tell Brooks the same thing Michael Jordan used to say: there might be a kid out there coming to see me play for the only time in his life tonight, it’s my job to go out there and play as hard as I can every night.
It’s just one of those things that makes the Thunder extra special. Stern won’t be throwing any fines their way any time soon.