Schmitt Ballin': San Antonio Spurs Fined $250,000
Last week, the San Antonio Spurs were fined $250,000 for sending their four best players home at the end of a road trip. The move enraged NBA commissioner David Stern, who said “the Spurs did a disservice to the league and out fans”, according to espn.go.com.
Personally, I agree with David Stern, for the most part. I understand where the Spurs were coming from, saving their older, better players from having to travel and play an extra day. However, benching players is not restricted by the league, no matter how good they might be. The issue lies in the fact that the Spurs did not notify the league, which is required whenever a player will not be traveling with the team do to injury. From a technical standpoint, the Spurs are deserving of the fine, as they did not comply to NBA rules.
I also agree with Stern in the sense that this ruins the integrity of the NBA. If teams like the Spurs began to keep older players from traveling, it takes away from the competitive nature that is professional basketball. With the NBA being a five billion dollar a year industry, fans expect to see the best every night they show up to the arena. In this sense, it seems as though it is the duty of the coach to put forth the best team he has every night. If this is not accomplished, he is letting down the millions of fans, and hundreds of players who hold a certain standard as far as how competitive the NBA is supposed to be.