NBA Commissioner David Stern promised substantial sanctions against the San Antonio Spurs after head coach Gregg Popovich sent home four players before a nationally televised game on Thursday. On Friday the NBA announced a $250,000 fine against the Spurs.
The Spurs were playing their fourth road game in five nights when they played against Miami on Thursday night. San Antonio will host the West Conference-leading Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
Instead of starting Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green the Spurs sent them home to rest.
Popovich was not fined or suspended.
In a statement, the NBA said the Spurs’ action violated league policy “against resting players in manner contrary to the best interests of the NBA.”
In the statement, Stern said, “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.”
Popovich has a history of resting key players throughout the season especially late in the season as the team prepares for the playoffs.