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.
- Report: Michael Beasley reaches agreement with Memphis Grizzlies 3
- Report: NBA not actively investigating source of Luol Deng African comment 5
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: Indiana Pacers 2
- Celtics owner: Rajon Rondo ‘super stubborn,’ harder than average to coach 19
- Bruce Bowen says blame for James Harden’s defense falls on McHale, Rockets 18
- NBA to review domestic violence policies in wake of NFL’s ugliness. It shouldn’t have taken that. 13
- Cavaliers lift ban on fan who ran onto court with LeBron James shirt 16
- Blake Griffin said he knew Donald Sterling was racist, wasn’t really surprised by tape 14