If there’s one thing everyone knows, it’s that the NBA needs a lot of money and it’s run by a man-child who thinks he’s Jabba the Hutt. It’s no secret that David Stern is oblivious to the sports world he lives in, and nothing made that more apparent than his announcement that the San Antonio Spurs will receive “substantial sanctions” for resting their starters last night against the Miami Heat.
The story goes like this: the Spurs were playing the Heat in a marquee matchup on national television that saw the Heat trot out titans like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade while Gregg Popovich threw out his B-team. This isn’t the first time Poppvich has done this, and beyond all that it’s a brilliant move in more than one way, but the NBA and Stern in particular are not tickled at all.
It’s been known for sometime, since the schedule was released to be exact, that Popovich was going to rest his starters for this game. Stern shouldn’t be shocked by this either because Popovich has been known to rest healthy players for a few games during the 82-game grind as a way of staying healthy. He notably did this against the Portland Trailblazers last year and San Antonio got blown out by 40 points.
No reaction from Stern.
But when Popovich sat his starters in a game that was supposedly showcasing the NBA on a national stage, Jabba the Hut got angry, and you won’t think he’s smart when he’s angry.
The contradictions in Stern’s child-like lashing out at Popovich and the Spurs is laughable at best, and all to revealing of how stupid Stern is at worst. Stern is showing an utter lack of consistency in lashing out at the Spurs over resting stars in November. Not only did he not hand down sanctions for the same team doing so in a far less entertaining game than we had last night, but he’s never made a whiff of a mention of sanctions when it’s been other teams.
Where was the uproar when both Miami and Boston sat a combined six All-Stars last year on a nationally televised game hat saw neither powerhouse crack 80 points? Where are the sanctions for the slate of utterly unwatchable games in March and April between the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards, or any other number of non-competitve games we’re subject to between teams not in a playoff hunt?
The checkmate zinger in the debate, with all credit to John Hollinger, is where were the sanctions from David Stern against David Stern for sitting all starters last November 29th when he had the league in a lock out?
If the schedule is to hard for players, then shorten the season, or spread games out. This isn’t baseball, this isn’t guys occasionally running around for five seconds then resting for another twenty. Hockey is a much more brutal sport on the body and even they know how to spread out their schedule.
The NBA is all about turning tricks; pimping out their best teams as much as they can to their own benefit. If you have to have every marquee matchup on national television, give both teams a day off beforehand. Popovich is on to an ingenious idea — only play your starters for 78 of 82 games and you’ll be better off when games start to count.
There could have been fingers waved prior, and Stern could have just made a private issue public for the first time, but even if that’s the case he seems to be throwing a hissy fit over nothing.
The NBA is trying to say we’re past the lock out, but from the Dwight Howard deal to this there is one thing we’ll never move on from — the obnoxious and pompous ego of David Stern.