He had no choice but to do something significant after apologizing to the fans for what Gregg Popovich did and promising “substantial sanctions” against the San Antonio Spurs just before the start of their contest against the Miami Heat on Thursday.
There were no suspensions of any kind, but Stern hit the Spurs organization with a hefty fine of $250,000 on Friday. Here are the details, from Brian Mahoney of The AP:
“The result here is dictated by the totality of the facts in this case,” Stern said in a statement. “The Spurs decided to make four of their top players unavailable for an early-season game that was the team’s only regular-season visit to Miami. The team also did this without informing the Heat, the media, or the league office in a timely way. Under these circumstances, I have concluded that the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans.”
Teams are required to report as soon as they know a player will not travel because of injury.
The league’s statement said the Spurs were in violation of league policy reviewed with the board of governors in April 2010 against resting players in a manner “contrary to the best interests of the NBA.”
Again, he had no choice but to act on his promise, but was it the right decision?