Stern OK with resting players
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
In announcing a $250,000 fine against the San Antonio Spurs Friday for resting players, NBA Commissioner David Stern said owners addressed the topic at the Board of Governors meeting in April, 2010, just before the playoffs began.
Stern said then that resting healthy players is “sole discretion of the team … unless that discretion is abused.”
While Stern and owners do not publicly detail every discussion from those meetings, Stern indeed told reporters at a news conference on April 16 that owners discussed resting players.
Near the end of his opening remarks – after giving cursory updates on collective bargaining, revenue sharing, salary cap, the use of video review for referees, the Orlando Magic’s new arena, sales, marketing and sponsorships – Stern said this:
“And we also had what I would call a spirited discussion on the subject of players being rested down the stretch. And I think it’s fair to say that there was no conclusion reached, other than a number of teams thought that it should be at the sole discretion of the team, coach, general manager, and I think it’s fair to say that I agree with that, unless that discretion is abused.
“And so it’s something we’ll be watching carefully with respect to next season, recognizing that it probably should be a team issue, and I’ve seen my colleagues in other sports deal with it or not deal with it, particularly in the NFL this last time leading into the playoffs.
“So I know it’s not an easy issue, but I think it’s not an issue that’s going to be taken precisely off the table, and it’s going to be a continuing conversation between me and the teams. And that’s the way we left it.”
After San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sent home and rested forward Tim Duncan, guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili and guard-forward Danny Green instead of playing them against the Miami Heat Thursday in a nationally televised game on TNT, Stern promised “substantial sanctions.”
In his statement announcing the fine Friday, Stern said, “The result here is dictated by … [For more on Stern OK with resting players unless discretion abused, click here.]