Cuban Agrees With Spurs’ Fine, But Calls League’s Scheduling ‘Stupid’

DALLAS — Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said commissioner David Stern was right to fine the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 — if not more — for sending their star players home prior to Thursday night’s nationally televised game on TNT against the defending champion Miami Heat.

Cuban said protecting the league’s network partners is a top priority because those contracts are “the money train, period, end of story, no questions asked.”

He said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow if he had chosen a game not on national television to rest starters Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and key role player Danny Green.

“If he would have done the same thing the next night, it’d be a completely different conversation,” Cuban said. “Common sense. Recognize who pays your check.”

“Look, I respect the Spurs,” Cuban said. “Pop is the best coach in the league. I understand why he did it. I might even take the fine if it was us, but I understand why the league [fined the Spurs]. It maybe should have even been higher, because the amount at stake is enormous.”

Popovich’s decision infuriated Stern and he had the league quickly send out a release apologizing to fans. In announcing the fine Thursday, Stern said sending the players home was  a “disservice to the league and our fans.”

But Cuban also slapped the league for scheduling a marquee television game with the Spurs wrapping up a six-game, 10-day road trip and playing a fourth game in five nights. The Heat were coming off four consecutive days without a game.

“It’s just as stupid to put a team in their fourth game in five nights on national television,” Cuban said. “That’s just as dumb. You’re not going to get as good of a performance, and that’s what you want to show. So I guess you can make the counter-argument that even though the Spurs did what they did. The league was just as guilty for putting them in that position, which was pretty stupid.”

Cuban, who has been fined more than a million dollars during his 13-year ownership, said he might have even done the same as Popovich under the circumstances, but said he would expect to be fined.

He said he wouldn’t be surprised if the league had discussions about implementing firm rules about resting players.

For Cuban it’s pretty simple: No rest on national TV.

“I’m not saying I wouldn’t do the same thing if coach (Rick Carlisle) came to me and said we should rest these guys, but I’d willingly pay the fine knowing what’s at stake,” Cuban said. “Rest your starters for the long haul? One game earlier, one game later? Sure. Rest them when you’ve got our biggest customer at stake, that’s a whole different animal.

“I’m not saying the Mavs would do the same thing, but I’d realize it’s a fineable offense and for me, it’d probably be 10 times as much.”

95 Comments

  1. Shells says:

    Gregg Popovich’s bad timing on his decision will result in new rules. What was he thinking sitting 3 All-Stars players when a marque game is televised nationally? David Stern is correct! Pop mad a bad judgment, and it’s a shame because now ALL teams will be told when and how they can rest players. He messed it up for every team. I guess no one in management thought that maybe this behavior would be frowned upon? I guess everyone is a yes man in San Antonio? People spend their hard earned money and he gives them the night off? This is no different than if you purchased concert tickets to see Taylor Swift and she took the night off and substituted Taylor Hicks. You damn right you would be pissed.

  2. Reesie_31 says:

    Mark Cuban says this because he’s a businessman first, and definitely not a coach. Pop resting the key players against the Heat is not only because he wanted them to take a breather but also to give his bench the opportunity to play against the defending champions and thus by default the beat and the team to beat right now in the league (I may not agree with it lol but it is the truth if you only look at the fact that they got the Larry O’Brien trophy). Pop makes calculated decisions, he keeps the main guys in the Orlando game as there was a lower risk of injury and he doesn’t want them too rested. He kept them from Miami’s game because he only needs to play them twice for the season. The main guys know how to play Miami’s style, so he needs to get his bench ready in the chance that they make it to June and have to face Miami. Also, it was a road game with an East Coast team, that doesn’t count against them much aside from one more game in the Losing column. However, they were playing Memphis (the best in the West) who is from their conference, they have to play them more times and a win against them counts way more: in standings come playoffs but also in home court advantage. I hate that Stern made the decision based on business only. San Antonio never attracts the crowd (except for their fans and few true basketball fans) so if Lebron was on TV, people would watch regardless. Also, I think he should have waited until after the game to decide whether to fine or not, I think the game was WAY more entertaining than if the main cast would have been there. These Spurs bench players wouldn’t have played as well if Tim, Manu, and Tony were there! It’s a fact! They gave Lebron and company HELL and made them work for that victory! It was a great game! There is currently no rules against resting your stars for a nationally televised game (maybe he should make one if he wants to avoid this again). Pop is the reigning COTY for a reason, he knows what he’s doing and I think he does a fine job at it! Maybe he could have suited the guys to avoid this controversy and just played them 5 mns each but in the end, he did what a coach is supposed to do and that is to manage your roster to the advantage of your players. It’s time that the NBA starts putting the emphasis on the actual game instead of the money and the show.

  3. nino says:

    In my opinion, not the Spurs but the Magic should be fined. I mean fouling (thus breaking the rules) in order to win a game? What a disgrace to the game of basketball. I find that this made the game much less enjoyable, the Spurs’ bench did put on an awesome show.

  4. BRG says:

    So now if any team thinks they need to rest their stars they just need to have them dress out but sit on the bench the whole night. Stern is an idiot.

  5. Lebron44 says:

    *cheque

  6. mojo says:

    Why Cuban think smarter to other team? But he think stupid in his team? He let all his champion players go out and hired another recycle players!

  7. Darius27 says:

    This is just great from Cuban. True enough the scheduling is stupid!

  8. Sam says:

    Cuban has weakened the Mavs by being cheap that team will never get another ring

  9. ko0kie says:

    I wonder what Popovich thinks in what kind of world we live in… in the real world the fans and sponsors are where the money comes from. it’s a slap in the face of those if you rest your star players in a marquee matchup against the defending champs.. he could have sat duncan, parker, ginobli in one of those (expected) blow-out wins against the wizards or magic..

    even you’re a spurs fan and you love coach popovich to death you can’t tell me you would have wanted to see this game with the big 3 playing..

  10. Sebastian Baladez says:

    i think mark cuban is a hater!

  11. hueteez says:

    that’s one of the stupid decision made on a televised game. he can rest all of his starters by sending them on the game for 6 minutes and then rest them all through out the game. they have a huge obligation for all the NBA fans.

  12. Wayne says:

    The NBA is a business that provided entertainment to the fans by the skill level and competitive play of the teams. Game ticket revenues, television revenues, and merchandise revenues drive the sport. What the Spurs did was economic suicide to the “business” of the NBA and in that context the fine was minor. Perhaps allowing fans to return tickets at the expense of the offending team along with a million dollar fine would be appropriate. Basketball players are entertainment performers and if you are going to put on a show you cannot have your main stars sitting at home to rest them it would be unheard of in any other performance venue. I am sure that the individuals responsible for scheduling the games are arranging their games based on their strategic marketing plan to maximize their revenues.

  13. Lady L says:

    If you don’t work, you don’t eat…so should the big 4 still get paid their paychecks for sitting out this game…trust me, it is more than most people make a year. Dwade donated his $200,000 game day check to the people in NY during the Sandy tragedy just to inform you guys how much these players make. And for the people that are against Stern..You are crazy! How much will you get for sitting home?

    • Marco29 says:

      This is not a regular job. Decision has been taken by their coach not by themselves.These guys are competitors and probably wanted to play against the defending champs but Pop decided otherwise because it is his job to do what is best for the franchise on the medium and long term.

  14. Lady L says:

    These guys make over millions just to play less than 48 min a game…Pay me, I’ll play…Tell that to our Military men and woman who gets paid less for a much harder job…Thank you Stern because most off these people are missing the point!!!

  15. Good evening to all you NBA Fans. But Especially to you dumb Spurs fans who think your team was the only one’s who played this type of schedule. The Heat was one of the first team in the NBA this season to play a six game road schedule. Then our schedule was much harder than this weak schedule that you are complaining about & that your coach rested his big three & Danny Green for. David Stern shouldn’t fine you for more than he did. After looking at the three easy team you played in them 4 out of five days. WOW!!!!!! Look at he schedule & the teams the heat played in the same type of schedule with the same number of days. Our first game was on Nov. 9. ATL. Then they played a back to back on Nov.11-12. Nov. 11. Memphis & Nov. 12. Rockets. Then on Nov. 14-15. Nov. 14 Clippers & Nov. 15. Nuggetts. Now you dumb Spurs fans don’t thing the Heat was tired with the type of schedule they had to play in a 6 days time. That’s five games in six days. But you are crying over a 4 games in five days & a much easy schedule & teams. Your harder two games in that run was the Heat & Memphis. But all five of the games the heat played in that six days time was teams with a winning record & wasn’t a easy game near night. Yes my Heat brother John Naismith D. Wade was hurt two of those games & still played. So don’t you Spurs fans or no other team come here talking bout the heat had a four day break before they played the Spurs. Because I’m sure on them four games we played on a back to back was teams who had rest as well. But we still had to play them & start our big three at that too. In Lebron James & Chris Bosh & D. Wade. But here your dumb coach rested not just three of his starters. But this fool rested four of his five starters. So till someone show me another team that played the road schedule in nine days & five of those games was played in six days. Then I don’t even wont to here from no other sorry fans saying Stern was wrong. He didn’t fine them enough after I took a look at the teams they played & the team the Heat played. We did good to come out that six game road trip with a 4-2 record. Because I’m sure the league & other teams was not expecting the heat to do that good with the type of teams we had face on a night in & night out. So stop with all this non-sense talk bout the league did the Spurs wrong. If anything. The league did the defending championship wrong.

    • Marco29 says:

      1. You don’t have to call other fans dumb because they rout for another team or don’t have the same opinion
      2; Coaches are the ones who decide who plays and who doesn’t and manage their roster for the entire season and the Playoffs.
      3. Pop did not brake any rule
      4. The Spurs almost won the game without their starters. Miami could not do as well againt any team in the league cause they pay so much money for there stars that they have no substitutes and reserves. Dwade is not playing hurt out of personal choice but because his team haas no other option. We’ll see the consequences on the long term.

  16. Harvey says:

    I think Greg Popovich is a great coach and in addition to resting his players he is also trying to make himself shine by showing that his team can win against the champs without his stars while Spoelstra have LBJ,D-wade,Ray Allen and Bosh.I also agree that the fine should be more because players get paid base on 82 games and they shouldn’t get paid on the game they didn’t play. Cmon men this is the best job in the world. At work if you don’t show up without notice or excuse you will be severely penalized.This players have an obligation to entertain the fans who pays lots of money to see stars playing.

  17. ICE-MAN says:

    I am big spurs fan going back ice-man days and i seemed to be only fan or person who agree spurs should be fined for not playing nationally televise game that most fans go pay see and watch tv.Until mark cuban came out backed what i taught which make all sense.What no one seem realize or say is pop had options,which was playing reserves in orlando game with better chance win and big 3 resting for miami game.Pluse he was up by 20 points in 3rd quarter and more 25 in 4th of orlando game and could rest players which he didnt.I think he tried send message nba on scheduling and if he didnt,it was dumb move by him.His team was struggling in second quarter and most second half memphis game because they lost cohesiveness or timing from lack playing.What i fine funny commontators on espn is that they have no idea what they talking about.(haha)They said lets be serious no one in miami comes see spurs,only lebron.Well lets evaluate this,Argentina big country and has alot people in miami,including tv coverage going south america see him play.
    .San antonio may not be biggest media market but its top 10 biggest cities in U.S who watch game on TNT,IF we remember back alamo dome days spurs will sell out playoff games to 40-50 thousand seats and wanted continue playofff games in dome when new arena was built but was decline by city do so,politics!!!

  18. ravin1111 says:

    why do the leauge hates the spurs ; why do cuban kisses stern booty ;why does tat commentator .derrick (mav ex ) says not to championship preview because the spurs prove them wrong by winning ty all need a new job (haters)

  19. dmac says:

    david stern only said something cause i think someone called him up and gave him an ear full

  20. dmac says:

    so does that mean now for the teams that rest players during televised games coming up to the playoffs will be fined? i dont actually see the difference.i can see if the spurs were in their 20s then they have no excuse, however their older guys and nba is sposed to be worried bout the players health and wellbeing…..i mean aint that why theve ruined the games with all these soft flagrant fouls and all that? i remember jordan rules etc not those type of fouls (called soft back than) can get u suspended smh

  21. MANOLO says:

    COMMON SENSE IS NOT VERY COMMON.

  22. Noctivagante says:

    These commentators work for TNT, righ? No doubt they will defend the shameful Stern decision…

  23. Reginald Periwinkle says:

    I see a different solution to the problem: give the fans the option of a partial rebate in a situation like this.

    The fans pay more money for a ticket to see a game with a high-caliber team like the Spurs. I think that if the coach decides to rest a bunch of star players for a particular game, the coach should advise the league as soon as possible. Then I think it should be open to the league, if they think the move was unfair, to allow fans to get a rebate from the regular ticket price. The league would then allocate that loss to the team that decided to rest the players.

    So, for instance, if Miami is in Toronto and doesn’t play Lebron and Wade, then fans should get a rebate so that the ticket costs as much as it would for say, a Toronto-Detroit game. Miami would then have to wear that loss, say by somehow compensating the Raptors for the difference in the ticket price.

    That way, it’s fair for everybody. Players get the rest they need. The team can decide if they want to risk the revenue loss. Fans can decide if they feel cheated, and if they do, they can seek out a rebate. The league doesn’t look like the bad guy for imposing an arbitrary fine, instead, the league lets the fans decide if the team suffers a loss.

    Probably for this particular Heat-Spurs game, the ticket price is high anyways, and fans might not even want a rebate. So I am guessing that the Spurs wouldn’t have been risking too much financially.

    • Marco29 says:

      The idea is nice but unrealistic. A coach does not decide 10 days in advance when he is going to rest who. He decides based on the previous games and the condition of his players.
      Also, teams would find a way to escape the fine by playing their stars 5 or 10 min and resting them for the rest of the game.
      Let the coaches do their job and the league should do its own job on games and TV schedules.

  24. Will says:

    What a great competitive spirit, Spurs! NOT

  25. SAM says:

    Mark knows what he’s talking about. A successful economist who have a great understanding on the entire NBA system.

  26. Chris says:

    He was in the right to bench his players. They played way to much and needed a rest, one or more players could get hurt playing so much from many things. He didn’t want to risk that and the NBA should see that. The pros out way the cons by far. Last time I checked, if you are a NBA player playing in the nba. The bench and the starting key players should not matter. It’s the NBA, everyone gets paid. It’s the coach decision whether to rest or start there players. It is greedy to worry about money rather then players safety and well being. I dis agree with the fine and I do by far. 250,000 is way to much to be fined for something so silly. It’s a quarter of a million dollars, not something small. I’m sorry you people who can not agree and see my point.

    -Chris

  27. Magic says:

    I am not a spurs fan, but I love to watch them, they play amazing basketball. The main reason why the spurs play amazing basketball is that Popovich can do what he wants with the team. In addition, The spurs is Popovich team he get to rest the players like he wants. However, The NBA is just taking the coaching rights out of the coach. Here is the fact, the spurs almost won the game against the heat. Moreover, It was not a one sided game, it was a very entertaining game, and it allowed other players to shine. Meanwhile, the stars players can rest be ready to take over the league. The NBA is over reaching it’s power, it’s coach’s decision not the league.

  28. daniel velazco says:

    it´s no disrespect, i would do the same if my roster has a 30 years average

  29. daniel velazco says:

    there is too much buzz around this. if u love the game, every one on every teams roster are pros, if a coach decides to rest his players…that´s his choice…why fine him, or the organization?

  30. Red says:

    The general public has no sympathy for multi-millionaire basketball players complaining because they are to tired TO DO THERE JOB.

  31. Jayde says:

    LOL I respect that Cuban has an opinion but I don’t see how Pop’s decision was any different from when you look at the players stats and it says DNP (did not play) coaches decision” just because they are key players, I may not agree with Pop’s decision but his decision was no different from what others do all the time plus out of all people why are they taking CUBAN’s opinion not that there is something wrong with him but he is the owner of a whole other Texas team so OF COURSE he would say it was the right decision

  32. jose machado says:

    it seems that palyers now are turistic attractions, what a lack of respect for SA players, bench whatever, they are professionals, i saw the game and i saw a good game, i see games cause i enjoy the sport, not cause this or that will play, this cuban if he said something different from a direct “enemy” i would be surprised, once again, it´s the coach and the owner who sends in his team, and it´s true, my TEAM, my PLAYERS are more important than the league or the NBA fans(not SA fans), the next time, today was this with injury, tomorrow afternoon it´s that one, they are playing theses games but some minutes, when the game arrives it misses 4 or 5 again.

  33. MG Samuels says:

    I totally agree with Pop’s decision. It was an unfair decision on the part of the NBA to allow such a big game to come at a time when Miami has had a five day rest and the spurs are on the road for almost 10 days. To top it off it was a home game for Miami.
    Were they trying to ensure that Miami get the best of the spurs?
    Sometimes you have to inconvenience league and fans to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again (which, by the way, was in no way an inconvenience considering how close the game was). Thanks Pop.
    While they, the league, are planning to propose tougher penalties for the teams guilty of the offense of resting players during nationally televised games I guarantee you that someone in that board room will think twice about arranging such an unfair schedule moving forward.

  34. Azigos says:

    I’m a looooong time Lakers fan, but I have to say that Mr. Cuban is THE BEST owner in NBA, maybe in the whole US sport business. Period.
    I would be proud and excited if I were part of a franchise managed by someone that’s so committed: the very first fan of the team.

  35. Nicholas says:

    Absurd, taking out the power of the coach, if he wants to rest the stars why not? He knows whats better for his team. Absurd so we don’t need coaches we only need Stern!

  36. michael os'ullivan says:

    The funny thing is the spurs almost won without their starters.

  37. Estoy a fevor del coach Popovich,la liga se lava las manos con multas,y pone a jugar un equipo 5 noches y el juego final contra los campeones en tv nacional,hay que multar el que hace el pareo de juegos ,

  38. Pablo says:

    Cuban is wrong. I understand the business perspective from the league but there are rigth and wrong ways to make business. The schedule thing is not just another element here, it is everything. Stern and the league wanted Miami to win from the beginning. That’s why they created this schedule. At the same time, they wanted to sell big, with a win against a top team. They fabricated a huge selling matchup giving the Heat as much chance as they could have. Win win for the league, if selling a good show from the business perspective is so important, why would you make it so tough for one of the contenders? Once the league intencionally established this biased schedules, it’s right to clam from the business point of view should dissapear.

  39. mike t says:

    stern was mad because pop did not give enough time for vegas to change the line. thats the bottom line. if i go to a game and the refs blow a call or two and the superstar of a team argues and gets a technical and gets ejected eventually is that justice to the fans who paid to see the superstar? refs blow calls all the time to piss of a team who is battling hard and lose their cool.

  40. Dirty D says:

    On the flip side, I turned away from the game. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. If I had bought a ticket! Holy Hell! I would have been pissed! And thats the problem. Trust, and no one wants to give any time, energy, effort, or especially any MONEY to see the bench play. They could have payed for a ticket to see the another team. To bench them is one thing, but to just leave them home, is kinda like a direct FU to the customers. The Network and the fans.

  41. Spiller says:

    I wonder if he was actually asked. He seems like the kind of guy who just gives you his opinion no matter if asked or not.

  42. amador_h says:

    ***3 1/2 Championships***

  43. John Naismith says:

    I think the NBA was right in fining the Spurs . They could have rested their starters against the Orlando Magic and still gave the fans a good match up . Every team has to go though stretches where they play 4 games in 5 nights or back to backs the Heat just had a brutal road trip but they did not rest any of their starters and even Dwade played with an injury during the Clippers game. I know Pop is trying to rest his starters but that was a bad move the game was competitive but the Arena was bare and a lot of people turned to the NFL game which was also on thursday in the same time slot . I was disappointed as a fan when I didn’t get to see the top talent play.

  44. Spur fan says:

    What will the NBA do next .all teams rest stars right before playoffs even Miami ,lakers Dallas. They even go as far as throwing games to get better playoff seeds.do they pick what team can rest. Stern should fine schedule makers for make a lopsided schedule .

  45. Marco29 says:

    As Cuban states and as Pop recognized , there is a sportive side and a business side in that case. On the sportive side, Pop had every reason to make this call: resting his players, giving valuable experience to his bench and preparing the more important game against Memphis. On the business side, you can consider it wrong especially towards partners and medias. Yet, Pop didn’t brake any rule nor was he responsible for the crazy and biased scheduled or for chossing this game for national media coverage. The league is fining itself for not having established a rule and for putting together this game and TV schedule. Maybe there should be a rule , they can even call it the “pop rule” but they cannot fine him for breaking a rule that does not exist. It is as stupid as if they had fine a player for flopping last season before introducing the anti-flopping rules. Pop did his job but the league’s offcials did not do theirs.

  46. caloyski says:

    Mark has a very good point– the NBA should review playing schedules to get the BEST out of each team in the league

  47. W/E says:

    u guys dont get the point, its just absurd to fine a team for resting their players, with the same logic every team should be fined big when the starters play heavy minutes and get injured resulting in huge amounts of missing playing time, WHY U PAY ALL THAT MONEY TO UR BENCH, they are also getting paid big, they have to earn their money too not just sitting there watching the ‘stars’ play…

  48. Marc says:

    reality … TV network control information and now sport enjoy

  49. Alex says:

    Cuban plays’money-greed’ card, pooling blanket on himself and betraying the sport and colleagues. He probably deadly envy that Spurs still standing on the top, that Popovich having respect, when Maverics with all his money and ambitions are at the very bottom. He sees basketball a toy he bought with his checkbook. Actually he is even worse for the sport than Stern, who at least does not even pretend that sport is nothing to him. Cuban is truly a “Maverick”.

  50. Good morning! I do agree with what David Stern did here with the Spurs. Because it’s not like every team don’t have the same schedule that they have. The Heat was one of the first teams to play that type of schudle where they had to play 6 games in 8 days. Then you are know if the heat just rest one of there big three i a NATL. TV. game something would be say bout it. I think they shouldn’t fine the spurs and Pop more than they did. Because you had other people from other parts of the country flow in to Miami just to see the starts of both Heat & Spurs play. But to get one half of the stars are not right. So they were tired . But everyone get tired after being out on the road that long of a time you Spurs fans. Great call by the NBA & David Stern.

  51. Phillip says:

    Cuban needs to worry about the Mavs. He always commenting on somebody else’s team. You got your one league rigged championship; now you can stop d**k riding Stern like a rodeo show lol.

  52. Pistol says:

    I could agree with Cuban but the league was guilty for putting San Antonio in that position. NBA need to be fined too! Then if I understand Cuban sending players home before the game against Miami was a “disservice to NBA fans” but not against Orlando or Washington, Okay! But please don’t talk about the integrity of the game or respect of the fans… We’re talking about money! And why not it’s important but say it! I have had enough to serve as an excuse for everything!

  53. rommel says:

    cuban should be fined for benching odom last season

  54. Karlo Garcia says:

    Mark Cuban is dumb calling the league scheduling stupid. I’d like to c him schedule the games!

  55. GabrielXL says:

    The argument would make more sense if the game wasn’t competitive. The fact is that the Spurs were well on their way to winning that game, but for a late game surge by Miami. I get where Cuban is coming from, but I think Pop was right to approach the situation from a coach’s perspective and do what he felt was right for his team. The only thing this really proves is that David Stern should retire sooner rather than later. It’s painful to say, but it’s clear that he’s ready.

  56. Zac says:

    Come on, Cuban, it was the easiest Road-Trip one can have in the league with Washington, Toronto and Orlando. And Orlando is only 1 hour away from Miami. It wasn’t that big of a deal.

  57. Kobe says:

    How is sitting your starters against not that great teams not a disrespect to the fans who buy tickets specifically to see those superstars play? Miami fans probably don’t care because they get to see 3 everyday. A coach is allowed to make the calls on what players they wanna play. Stern blew it out of proportion because the guys at TNT started whining.

  58. David says:

    For the first time (in this video), the subject of the league selecting line-ups is brought up – and the response by the commentators is ludicrous. Resting players is fine, but the way Pop went about it is not? What other way is there of doing it other than RESTING THEM?! And what would the problem be if other teams did it as well? This game is so focused on the players – yet, when someone takes a decision for their well-being, no one is understanding. Teams have subs and reserves for a reason and the Spurs’ did a great service to the league by taking on the champions and almost winning. That’s a great display of the solidarity and combative spirit Pop instills in his players. What right does David Stern have to step over a coach’s coaching decisions? The league IS selecting line-ups – that, to me, is the most ridiculous concept I’ve seen happen in any sport. that, to me, is the greatest disservice to the NBA on display in this whole case.

    A fan from Portugal.

  59. willie says:

    MArk Cuban, the best owner in the NBA… maybe in all of pro sports. he is rich because he’s smart. i wonder though, what if despite sitting the key players, what if the spurs still won the game? would the heat be fined for not giving their best, just like the spurs? will the spurs be fined even if they won the game? what’s your take on this, hang time?

  60. Genoa says:

    Conspiracy Theory: Stern had the league schedule SA to visit the Heat tired, and the heat rested – so that Heat would have an easy victory against the tired starters.

  61. John Doe says:

    This was the first Heat-Spurs game ever I watched (and probably the only one I ever will in the regular season). So don’t tell some bs about marketing. What could be more fun than having a Spurs team slap the defending champion right into the face with their reserves. Sure – if you buy the ticket to see your one player it’s a bummer. But that’s not worth a fine of 250K. Stern and the League should apologize and don’t make that stupid schedules.

  62. Arky says:

    Cuban’s got it exactly right. All the people being precious about the coach’s right to do what’s best of the team and the players are missing where the money comes from to pay those players and the coach.

  63. Al says:

    David Stern’s decision was biased, insulting, and totally unenforceable.

    1. david stern is basically saying to the Spurs bench “ya’ll are so bad that we are going to penalize the Spurs for making everyone have to watch you”. They are all NBA players. They have the right to play regardless of the reason.

    2. The heat had 4 days off before this game, while the spurs were playing 4 games in 5 nights. It’s the NBA’s fault.

    3. How are you going to regulate it? What will the rules be?
    For example, what constitutes whether a certain MUST play? Is it star power? What constitutes a star player – is it his stats, the amount of money he makes, the # of jerseys he sells? A star is a SUBJECTIVE label. Manu Ginobili is a “star” and yet he doesn’t have great stats. Tim Duncan is the #1 player, and yet he is the least paid of the “stars.”
    What if the game had been closer to playoff time – would it be more acceptable? How many games prior to playoffs would this action have been considered an infraction?
    How many minutes do they HAVE to play in order for it to not be considered an infraction? Each team has multiple stars – how many stars HAVE to play?

    These are questions that cannot be answered, and shows how Stern’s decisions are SUBJECTIVE and CANNOT be REGULATED WITHOUT BIAS.

    Shame on you David Stern for abusing your power for the sake of your own profits.

  64. Al says:

    David Stern’s decision was biased, insulting, and totally unenforceable.

    1. david stern is basically saying to the Spurs bench “ya’ll are so bad that we are going to penalize the Spurs for making everyone have to watch you”. They are all NBA players. They have the right to play regardless of the reason.

    2. The heat had 4 days off before this game, while the spurs were playing 4 games in 5 nights. It’s the NBA’s fault.

    3. How are you going to regulate it? What will the rules be?

    teams are going to start having to pretend that there players are hurt to sit them. you cant enforce that.
    10:02 PM
    3. what is goign to be the rule? does the superstars on each team HAVE to start, or play a certain number of minutes? how many superstars have to play for it to not be an infraction?
    10:03 PM

    it would have made the sanctions look stupid

  65. SAS says:

    really wanna know that if Spurs won, would Stern still fine them for resting their starters?

  66. balls says:

    It is disappointing not to see the best players play but is just plain ignorant to expect these people to play and perform just because you want to watch. Don’t ever forget that you are the privileged folk who get to enjoy what these guys can show you and D Stern needs to hop off his high horse and remember who made his money for him, the players…. If you had the slightest clue about what is in the leagues best interest you would sort out the failing website interface and return it to something that was usable and attractive for the precious fans.

  67. Alex says:

    No one cares what Cuban thinks, he is the biggest idiot in the league

  68. Daniel Berg says:

    I completely disagree with the commenter that said that Mark Cuban knows everything about what’s good for the fans. What utter BS.

  69. Daniel Berg says:

    I don’t care one little bit what Mark Cuban thinks about basketball. At least not until his team can match Greg Popovich’s 4 championships.

  70. Pablo says:

    Coach Pop did the MIAMI HEAT a favor, if those 4 were there to play. the HEAT might have lost that game and ended their winning streak.

  71. Dew says:

    Good stuff from Cuban here. I’d agree with the business aspect of things. Recognizing who pays the check is one of the best things I have heard from the other side of the coin yet. The best thing about this article is that Cuban clearly pointed out the scheduling of the whole matter. Putting the Spurs after a 4 games in 5 nights (while completing a 6 game road trip to top it off) on national TV against the defending champs who got 4 days of rest? Bad move on the scheduling for sure and glad Cuban pointed that one out. I am sure any owner/coach would rest their guys under similar circumstances after that many road games no matter who they were going up against. Unless of course it is a televised game, or a team is a bit younger like OKC, might be different for some teams in different situations.

  72. usbuck says:

    Cuban. Sorry!

  73. Jimmy says:

    At first I was against how David Stern fined the Spurs in the first place for resting the main players but now I can see why he did it and actually agree with him.

  74. Flying Raijin_41 says:

    mark cuban is just simply committed to his team and to the nba..he knows everything involving the financial stands of the league and whats good for the fans…

  75. newyorksteelo says:

    I hate to say it, but I agree with Cuban, and with Stern’s decision. What Pop did is a no no, and huge a disrespect to not only us fans that wanted to anxiously see this match-up, but also to the other 29 NBA teams that have to play their top paid players when healthy. The fine was a good call in my opinion.

  76. janeh says:

    Also, don’t think that Popovich is saying that he is above the NBA for doing this, that is a falls notion.If he is, then the SPURS shouldn’t get this disadvantaged schedule. How stupid of you to say that he feels he is. He is actually trying to protect his players and he can stand for them. If this commentator was one of Popovich players, I’m sure you will be glad somebody stood up for you.

  77. Karen says:

    I like what Pop did (and the reasons for his decision) and the Spurs almost won the game even without those four key players!

    • Adam says:

      Yeah, but were the Heat really playing their hearts out? Didn’t seem like it…

      • John says:

        Then fine them for not putting the effort if the spurs stars not showing up(in the literal sense) was a disservice to the league then the heat stars not showing up( figuratively ) should be just as bad people paid just as much money to see LeBron and wade play hard as they did to see timmy and parker and being a home game for Miami it was more for the heat stars.

      • vungaw ka says:

        weather they play hearts out or not, it would have been a shame to the heat if they lost. I remember Pop once said,”I would rather have dinner with my family than to coach my team against the mavs without Dirk, but it would be a shame for us if we lost to the mavs without Dirk.” Thats how the Spurs give respect to to a team. Does the Heat do the same?

  78. viking1 says:

    People kill Cuban because he’s liberal in dealing out his opinions; but I’d take him as an owner because I think he understands what the NBA is and what it can be. Who doesn’t want an owner willing to shill out top dollar to win?

  79. Becky says:

    If anything, TNT got better ratings because all the controversy drew more people over to watch the game.

  80. NoName says:

    Mark Cuban actually makes some pretty good points. I guess when you’re a billionaire and there’s money involved you automatically know things.

  81. Derp says:

    Cuban knows whats up.

  82. Aaron says:

    Nice outlook on this from Cuban. From a Spurs fans point of view I think Pop easily could have sat the guys the night before against Orlando. However, Pop felt he needed to make a statement, sitting the guys against Orlando means nothing. Overall, nobody was hurt, fans got a GREAT game out of it and the NBA got a lot of press.

    TNT wasn’t hurt by it.

    • TWizz says:

      They had 4 games in 5 nights. Pop was mainly concerned with winning 3 out of the 4. If Spurs would have lost against Orlando, the starters most likely would have played against the Heat. Also, the Heat game isn’t as important to the Spurs as the Memphis game they had 2 nights later, which was tonight. Memphis is in their conference and division, so that’s more important for their playoff seeding. I would also think that if the Spurs next game wasn’t only 2 days after the Heat game, Spurs starters would have played against the Heat.

      Cuban is right on about the stupid schudle makers though.. Look at the Nuggets schedule for the beginning of the season.. 17 of their first 23 games are on the road. What kind of bs is that? They’ve had about 12 road games so far, and teams like the Lakers have only had 5. These schedule makers need to do a little more balancing.

    • rick says:

      No, Pop could not easily sat out the starters at Orlando. Spurs would have risked losing BOTH of those games and, with overworked starters in Miami game, ran the risk of losing to the Grizzlies. So it’s a 2 game swing in the course of 3, and that’s huge. Pop made absolutely the right call. Stern and his scheduling cronies did an awful/biased job.

    • Dirty D says:

      I turned away, just thought it was going to be a blowout.

    • LBJ says:

      Yes it was. MAny people simply turned of their tv’s because they saw a spurs bench olaying. Advertisers pay lots of money to advertise during a “big game” but then u see a spurs bench playing. Fans pay alot of money to see two top teams play, and then they see a top team and some bench warmers.

    • Peter says:

      A SUGGESTION?
      It would be better to change NBA normal season to two sections, 58 games each team for the 30 teams in the 1st section to eliminate 10 low rank teams and 18 games each team for the two 10 teams in the east and west conferences in the 2nd section, and then post season.

      The advantages of the changes:
      1) Reduce the uninteresting (low profit) games, games with the low rank teams,
      2) The games would be more competitive and more attractive (more profit) because each team would fight to enter the 2nd section and postseason.

      Further change may be value,
      1) Cut the pay to the players for the teams fail to enter the 2nd section,
      2) Allow the teams to rent a limit number of good players from the teams eliminated in the 1st section, to fill in the spots due to injuries.
      3) A one week break between 1st and 2nd section and between 2nd section and post season.
      Thus, the organization would save some cost and some talent players would not be sank with low capability teams. That also improves the health of the teams after they enter the 2nd section and post season. People would not have much chance to see that a team of a good record in normal season could not get a win in postseason due to one or two key players injuried.