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Stern crosses line by fining Spurs

Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were clearly fatigued after playing Orlando so Gregg Popovich sent them home to rest up after playing three games in four days, something he has done before, but because it was a nationally televised game commissioner David Stern decided to fine the team $250,000.

David Stern has officially crossed the line by handing down a $250,000 fine to the San Antonio Spurs for resting four of their top five scorers during a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat on Thursday.

As their fourth road game in five days Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich decided to send Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili home for some extra rest before they had to get ready for a key conference game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday instead of having they step foot on the court against the Heat.

Wanting to protect the product of the league Stern decided to sanction the Spurs. As the marquee game of the night between to of the top teams in the league, both filled with stars, Stern wanted NBA fans to be able to watch Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker go up against Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh but the Spurs kept their big three out as well as Danny Green. They were not even in the building either, Popovich sent them home to rest in their own homes, without having to go through more travel, dealing with hotels and an NBA team travel schedule.

The NBA has to please their fans, yes, and when a fan pays a lot of money for a ticket, and when it comes to the NBA fans they usually pay to see individual stars, not teams.

But Popovich was doing what he should do; he worried about his team and players and not the well-being of the league. If these guys were 23 they definitely would have played but Duncan, Parker and Ginobili are getting up their in age and they were very clearly fatigued at the end of their last game before they were slated to go down to Miami. Also, Parker and Ginobili both played in the Olympics, so they had little offseason to rest and recover from last year.

Professional sports leagues are supposedly worried about player safety, ever since former football players decided to sue the NFL. But as much as these leagues preach that they care about players safety, fining a team that much money for resting their players after some horrible scheduling by the league itself says they are worried about the almighty dollar, not their players health.

And the NBA is not alone in their hypocracy. The NFL scheduled the Ravens to play four games in 18 days.

I can see both sides of the argument. The fans are the important part of the NBA, without them their is no league so they do have to be pleased and feel that they got their monies worth but Popovich did what he felt needed to be done to protect his players and his team down the stretch. Maybe he did it specifically for that game because it was a high profile, highly visable event and his actions would open people’s eyes more than if he just played a locally televised game in Toronto, but it was not something he has never done before either. Last year Popovich sat his guys to give them rest and their were no penalties and this year when he did his team did play very well; leading with thirty seconds left to go in the game.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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