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Spurs will rest Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in nationally televised game, Tony Parker also out

Dec 19, 2013, 4:32 PM EDT

Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker

Gregg Popovich is making a habit of tempting fate.

First, he confronted Stephen Jackson. Even if that was done in a joking manner – and it was – you can never be certain how Jackson will react.

Now, the Spurs coach is challenging another one of the NBA’s most strong-willed figures: David Stern.

Of course, Stern fined the Spurs last season for resting their starters in a nationally televised game with the Heat. Will tonight’s game, televised on TNT, yield a different result?


Last year, Stern said “the totality of the facts in this case” led to the fine. He cited:

  • Four players missing the game
  • One of those players being 26 years old
  • San Antonio not making its plan clear in a timely manner

This time, it’s only three players. And considering Parker missed the previous game, the Spurs should be clear on that. It’s really only two players.

Duncan is 37, Ginobili 36 and Parker 31. The Spurs certainly aren’t resting a young player this year.

The game doesn’t tip off for another six hours. I’d think this qualifies as timely notification.

But left unsaid by Stern last time was the fact that the game, like this one, was nationally televised. Did that factor into his decision, even if he didn’t say so publically? If it did, it will be a factor again tonight.

The Spurs could have just made up injuries for Duncan and Ginobili – back soreness or something – and avoided the whole issue. But it seems, once again, Popovich wants to push his luck.

  1. RavenzGunnerz - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Well file that under L, that could mean Spurs will have to go get a couple of Ws at OKC during the playoffs…

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      $500k fine coming again.

      As long as the owners cool with it haha

      • Kevin S. - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:23 PM

        You know, if David Stern doesn’t want the Spurs resting their aging stars in nationally-televised games, maybe they shouldn’t put teams on TNT when they’re playing the second end of a back-to-back, their fifth game in seven days, seventh game in ten days, having played in seven different cities for those seven games. Guess what? I could have told you before the season Parker, Duncan and Ginobili weren’t playing tonight.

      • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        Just like last year, Spurs are coming off a brutal stretch for a b2b road game against a better rested opponent.

      • ranfan12 - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:19 PM

        I doubt it. Only reason they got fined last time was only because it wasn’t announced.

      • yournuts - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:43 AM

        Spurs won anyway. I guess they didn’t need them to beat the Warriors.

    • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Right, because SA didn’t come within a bucket or two of Miami last year under similar circumstances.

      GS is just the kind of young inexperienced team that can look past this game, and cough it up.

    • alex54155 - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      anything else?

  2. antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Good luck… with that. The Spurs are going to keep choking in the playoffs as long as Pop keeps doing this.

  3. azarkhan - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Gregg Popovich is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, not David Stern. F*** David Stern.

  4. rawdog2013 - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Good news for the warriors. We’ve been falling short in this match-up.

    • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      Don’t count it as an auto win. Spurs alomst beat Miami last year without the core, and GS is no Miami.

  5. xjokerz - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    smart move by the Spurs.

    they dont care about regular season. its all about june baby.

  6. bucrightoff - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    DNP – Old time

  7. chargerdillon - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Honey Popovich don’t care what you think! Honey Popovich is a badass!

    You want to fine Honey Popovich go right ahead!

  8. ghelton03 - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Pop is stiffing the fans again. If I were an advertiser, no way I would advertise on SAS game.

    • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      Then the networks need to STOP televising these games when the Spurs are exhausted. This is their 7th game in 10 days, and a b2b roadie against a quality opponent. ESPN/TNT need to look at their schedule and recognize that Pop will sit his guys in these circumstances, and not pick up a game like this. If he has a b2b at the end of the stretch, he’s going to throw all hands at the lesser opponent (PHO) and roll the dice resting his guys against the better opponent (GSW), rather than risk losing both.

    • shanelsweet - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      I continue to be amazed by the number of fans who side with ownership. It’s like the folks commenting here are all billionaires! If I bought a ticket thinking I’d see the starters, I’d be pissed! Some of us low income folks only get to see 1 or 2 games a year in person. I guess if I was Spike Lee, I wouldn’t give a rat’s behind.

      • ghelton03 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:32 PM

        I’m siding with the fans. If I buy a ticket or even if I tune in on TV, I expect to see the best product. All other coaches are able to rest their players without pulling their stars out at the same time. Pop is just not any good at all about managing players minutes. He displayed that last year in the playoffs when he had Duncan and Parker on the bench in critical minutes.

      • spursareold - Dec 20, 2013 at 9:42 AM

        I’d rather see the best product in June. See: Bryant, Kobe; Rose, Derrick.

  9. zerole00 - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    If I was Pop and wanted to give a big FU to Stern, I would have just had the team doctor come up with some elaborate, fancy sounding scientific diagnosis that simply translates to “they’re tired.”

  10. ghelton03 - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    I think $500K is an appropriate fine.

  11. ghelton03 - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    What’s the point in even tuning in to watch this nationally televised game? I am not going to do it.

    • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      You’re going to miss a good game. Pop doesn’t accept excuses or poor play when he holds guys out. The Spurs are coming to play.

      • ghelton03 - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        I don’t care if he takes a bunch of high school players and beats GS. That’s not the point. NBA fans should demand the best product possible for their ticket. Frankly, NBA fans should be boycotting every eastern conference game, except Indiana and Miami.

      • spursareold - Dec 20, 2013 at 9:40 AM

        It’s actually kind of naive to expect quality NBA basketball in December, regardless of circumstances. You really won’t see that until February. Don’t shoot the messenger. It’s just the way it is.

    • savvybynature - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:36 AM

      You obviously aren’t a fan of basketball then, so your opinion bears no weight

  12. gogatorsjohn - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    haha that’s funny. Good point about only the Heat and Pacers in the Eastern Conference. Maybe Chicago would be good if D. Rose was playing. Hopefully next year with a deep draft some of those players can be instant stars and rejuvenate the league, especially Eastern Conference.

    • ghelton03 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      You are right about Chicago and I would also throw Atlanta in there to. Those two front offices are at least trying. I think all the players on all the teams are trying as hard as they can. I can’t say the same about the front offices, especially GM’s and owners.

  13. ghelton03 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    If the Denver Broncos had of sat Peyton Manning and Wes Welker in the third game of the NFL season, would you have been putting Fox on a pedestal of NFL coaching guru? No! Anyone can set players down. I can do that. Spoelstra was able to rest his players without ever once having the big three out at the same time. The Heat are the champs because Pop had his head up is a$$ in games 6 and 7. Heat are champs because of Pop. Pop is the most overrated coach in history. Keep this chump away from team USA.

    • spursareold - Dec 20, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      16 games, a week apart. 82 games with probably 20 b2bs. Not the same thing at all.

      He’s not coaching Team USA anyways. Don’t you read the news, chump? Kryzewski is returning.

      Oh, and anyone who coaches his teams to 4 LoBs and over 900 wins using radically different playing styles, and wins over 68% of his games cannot, by definition, be over rated. He’s going into the HOF and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    • azarkhan - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Wow ghelton03, you’re a real idiot. Go comment on the football site, where you will have plenty of other idiots for company.

  14. ghelton03 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Pop should reimburse everyone at the GSW arena for their tickets and then pay a hefty fine.

    • spursareold - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      Ha, the only team doing any reimbursing should be GS for that egg they laid on national TV last night.

    • alex54155 - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      maybe GS could use some of that money to buy some defense and superglue so that they can hold onto the ball. 24 turnovers?

  15. jimboperkins - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    anyone can say what they want but pop is trying to get his next 3 together now and on the same page as there main 3 they got now are almost ready to retire and they have nothing to loose right now as they are the #1 seed

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