San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich sent four of his best players home before the last game of a six-game road trip in Miami. The NBA fined the franchise $250,000, stating that the Spurs did a disservice to the league and their fans.
The team decided to make Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobilli, and Danny Green unavailable for the early season game that was the team’s only regular-season visit to Miami. These actions were taken without informing the Miami Heat, media, or the league office in a timely fashion.
According to the league, the Spurs are in violation of a policy reviewed by the board of governors in April 2010 against resting players in a manner “contrary to the best interests of the NBA.”
The issue of resting healthy players has been debated before, though usually not so early in the season. The Spurs have been right at the center of this debate with Popovich using the rest strategy for an aging team that could use more time off than the NBA schedule often allows.
Popovich has won championships and many games over his career and has received plenty of support on his decision, but NBA Commissioner David Stern makes it clear the early-season timing is an issue.