Dec 19, 2013, 4:32 PM EDT
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.
- LeBron makes emotional return to Cleveland tonight, new Nike ad shows city standing together (VIDEO) 0
- Dominant Pau Gasol shows he may be a perfect fit for Bulls 6
- Old tweets: Kevin Durant uses gay slurs (including at Russell Westbrook), Damian Lillard rips LeBron James 21
- Wednesday night’s NBA winners, losers: Chris Bosh wants you to know he is a No. 1 option 22
- Rajon Rondo leads Celtics to rout of Nets. How much does it mean? 8
- Bulls cruise to 24-point opening night win over Knicks 17
- Lakers’ rookie Julius Randle has surgery to repair fractured tibia, out for season 16
- Anthony Davis has zero chance of winning MVP this season 38