Dec 1, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT
When David Stern issued a statement stating the league would be fining the Spurs $250,000 for resting four starters on Thursday night in Miami, it was sure to create some controversy.
There was no rule specifically stating Gregg Popovich could not sit his players whenever he chooses, so handing down a steep punishment for it doesn’t seem like a decision brimming with justice.
Not surprisingly, veteran and esteemed head coach Doc Rivers wasn’t in favor of the ruling, and told reporters so before his Celtics faced the Blazers on Friday.
“I don’t like it, I just don’t like it,” Rivers said before Boston’s game Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. “I do get the other side of it, but it’s a tough one. You have to coach your team to win in the long haul, and you have to do whatever you need to do. If that’s sitting players, then you sit players. It’s a tough one.”
Would Rivers shy away from resting his veterans in a similar situation?
“Listen, we’ll do it when we want to do it. And we should be able to do it,” said Rivers. “It can be early in the season, end of the season. Now if we give a guy [a day] off because he has a family thing — it’s just so many things here. Hopefully we all figure it out.”
Rivers was candid with his comments, but his words were also to be expected.
Every coach in the league wants the option to make personnel decisions from night-to-night based on whatever criteria they feel is best — for their individual team, and for that individual game.
Stern’s hefty fine makes it a little trickier to do that moving forward, though something tells me that coaches as wily as Rivers and Popovich will always find a way to make their own decisions.
- Wade says left knee sore, swollen, but will play through it 0
- Popovich explains decision to sit Duncan late in regulation of Game 6 9
- Game 6 was not Gregg Popovich’s best night 44
- LeBron James gets another triple-double, now favorite for Finals MVP 17
- ‘Devastated’ Manu Ginobili says he has no clue how Spurs will re-energize for Game 7 44
- NBA Finals Game 6: Heat comeback in fourth, win in overtime to force Game 7 (125)
- If Spurs win, it is LeBron’s legacy that will take biggest hit (85)
- Lakers unlikely to sign and trade Dwight Howard to the Clippers, Rockets, or anyone else (81)
- LeBron James: “I just have to play better” (78)
- Chris Bosh blocks Spurs’ Game 6 comeback attempt (video) (75)
- Heat rally to beat Spurs in Game 6
- PBT: After blowing lead, can Spurs rebound in Game 7?
- CSN: Report: Hernandez 'not ruled out' as suspect
- PHT: Can Blackhawks solve Rask in Game 4?
- PST: On-fire Altidore lifts USA over Honduras in WCQ
- Underseeded? Nadal draws No. 5 at Wimbledon
- CSN: Celtics-Clippers KG, Rivers trade talks dead
- Play Video: Bosh: 'We'll see who hits first'
- Play Video: Clippers, Celtics discussions 'can't be wrong'
- Play Video: Elliot looks ahead to Game 6
- Play Video: The Hype: How much would you pay to punch someone?
- Play Video: If Heat lose, 'all hell will break loose'
- Play Video: Green breaks NBA finals 3-point record