Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
NBA commissioner David Stern apologized to fans and promised substantial sanctions against the Spurs for resting their best players.
The San Antonio Spurs will face "substantial sanctions" for deciding to send home four key players for rest, rather than playing them in their game against the Miami Heat, according to statement released Thursday by NBA commissioner David Stern.
The Spurs sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green home early Thursday for rest. Stern called the decision unacceptable and apologized to all NBA fans. Following Wednesday's game against the Orlando Magic, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said it was possible the players would be given a game off because they were "getting tired."
That reasoning apparently wasn't enough for Stern, who could now come down hard on San Antonio. It wouldn't be the first time Stern punished a team for resting star players. In 1990, Stern fined the Los Angeles Lakers $25,000 for resting Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Mychal Thompson.
At that time, Stern said fans buying tickets deserve the best product. It likely won't help the Spurs' cause that their game against the Heat is being nationally televised on TNT.