It's very rare that I care about anything happening in the NBA, but David Stern fining the San Antonio Spurs because they benched their star players before a game against the Miami Heat is a joke.
A very expensive joke. The fine was $250,000.
Just to put that in perspective, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rando threw a punch and tackled Brooklyn Nets Kris Humphries into the stands and only received a two-game suspension. The suspension without pay is the equivalent of a $243,000 fine.
So while one player embarrassed the league and endangered some of its fans, he wasn't monetarily punished as harshly as a team trying to keep their team healthy. A team that was playing it's fourth road game in a five-day span, claiming the Spurs were acting "contrary to the best interests of the NBA."
But what about the best interests of the Spurs?
Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker are all 30 or older. I don't know why Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sent Gerald Green home, but I don't care either. A coach does what he thinks is in the best interest of his team. If that is benching his players to give them some rest early in the season, that is his decision. He wanted his stars fresh for an upcoming game against first-place Memphis Grizzlies.
They sacrificed a practically meaningless Eastern Conference game to be better prepared for an important division game. It makes sense to me.
One of the first things Stern said to justify the fine was this was the Spurs only trip to Miami and they didn't give enough notice to the Heat. Give me a break. The Heat have LeBron James. They don't need help selling tickets. There will be plenty of great basketball for Heat fans to attend. I don't feel bad for anyone going to that game and being disappointed that they didn't see Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Green.
There is also the fact that the Spurs almost won the game! The Heat needed a last-minute 3-pointer to seal the game. Fans got their money's worth.
Let's also not forget that just last season the NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said it was OK that the Spurs were resting players.
This is a story of David Stern flexing his muscle. He doesn't really care about the fans, but he wants them to think he does. He is showing the Spurs and the rest of the league that he can pretty much do whatever he pleases at the moment.
Van Halen - 1984