NBA Commissioner David Stern stands behind his decision to fine the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 after team officials chose to send home several of their players for unjustified early season rest. The Spurs sent home Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Danny Green before a Miami Heat game last week.
Stern also noted that team officials did not notify the league ahead of time, which only made matters worse.
According to Stern:
“In the case of San Antonio, they didn’t just come into town and rest healthy players, they sent a 26-year-old and a 30-year-old, plus Manu and Tim home virtually under cover of darkness … and without notifying as our rules require for injury and illness,”
Stern also noted that he just spoke about resting healthy players in April 2010, a recent enough conversation that the Spurs should have known better.
Stern further noted:
“Maybe it’s my mistake not to think that injury and illness when you’re secreting someone away should also include deciding to move them out. So in all of the circumstances, I thought that if we didn’t do something this time, there would never be a reason to do it.
“(It was the Spurs’) only visit to Miami, practically the first month of the season. Notifying nobody and sending home young and healthy players merited a rebuke and I did it.”
Stern said the fine was issued because the Spurs failed to follow NBA rules that teams must notify the league, opposing team, and media when players won’t travel because of injury.
The San Antonio Spurs have not challenged the NBA commissioners $250,000 fine.