NBA

Popovich 'disappointed' in fine

Share This Story

   
 

SAN ANTONIO (AP)

Gregg Popovich said Saturday night he doesn't know if the San Antonio Spurs will appeal a $250,000 fine from the NBA for sending his star players home to rest instead of playing them against the Miami Heat.

Speaking publicly for the first time since NBA Commissioner David Stern handed down the stiff penalty Friday, the Spurs coach and team president said he was ''disappointed'' in the decision.

''What I do from my perspective is from a coaching perspective,'' Popovich said. ''And I think the league operates from a business perspective. And I think that's reflective in the action that they took.''

Rather than play Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili - three of the NBA's biggest names - against LeBron James and Miami in a nationally televised game Thursday night, Popovich put them on a plane and sent them home. It came at the end of a six-game road trip and after the Spurs had played five times in seven days.

Swingman Danny Green was also put on that early flight to San Antonio. Popovich justified his decision in Miami by saying he didn't want to subject Green and his aging Big Three to so much wear-and-tear this early in the season.

That decision infuriated Stern.

He apologized to NBA fans before the Miami game and vowed his office would hand down ''substantial sanctions,'' which Stern delivered on the next day. He said he ''concluded that the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans.''

stern

DAMAGE CONTROL

David Stern has done a lot of good for the NBA, but 10 things have hurt his legacy.

Popovich bristled when asked before Saturday night's game against Memphis whether he might nonetheless do the same thing, as the NBA's reigning coach of the year often does when posed with hypothetical questions. But he didn't rule it out, either.

''I don't have a crystal ball,'' Popovich said.

Popovich said he had discussions with the league before the fine was announced but did not elaborate. But one thing the two sides did not discuss, apparently, were guidelines the Spurs should follow the next time they want to rest their stars.

He said any deliberations about whether the Spurs will appeal would be done privately.

''That's not a confirmation or anything like that,'' Popovich said. ''I have no idea. It's out of my hands.''

Teams are required to report as soon as they know a player will not travel because of injury. The league's statement said the Spurs were in violation of league policy reviewed with the board of governors in April 2010 against resting players in a manner ''contrary to the best interests of the NBA.''

Stern also pointed out that it was the Spurs' only trip to Miami this season and that the team made the decision without informing the Heat, the media or league office in a ''timely'' fashion.

Mark Cuban, the outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner who can relate to heavy NBA fines better than anyone, said Saturday the NBA would have been within its rights to perhaps fine his team's top rival even more.

Cuban said he respects the Spurs and called Popovich ''the best coach in the league.'' But he said the NBA is a business and called national television contracts the ''money train'' that decides whether the league is profitable or not.

The fine against the Spurs ''maybe should have even been higher, because the amount at stake is enormous,'' Cuban said.

Cuban, however, said the NBA isn't completely blameless. He faulted the league for putting the Spurs on national television at the tail end of a long road trip, when San Antonio was unlikely to be playing at its peak.

''You can make the counter-argument that even though the Spurs did what they did, the league was just as guilty for putting them in that position, which was pretty stupid,'' Cuban said.

Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, whose team entered a half-game ahead of the Spurs for the best record in the Western Conference, said Popovich has a right to manage his team however he wants.

''I don't say it's bad, I don't say it's good,'' Hollins said. ''That's Pop's decision. I do what I do with my team and he does what he does, and the 28 other teams do the same thing. Each coach has a responsibility to his players and his team.''

Tagged: Heat, Spurs, Tim Duncan

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..