David Stern made good on his promise to fine the San Antonio Spurs for sitting their best players during a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat, but in doing that, Stern has proven that he is a tyrant with no regard for the rights of NBA teams.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports broke the news on the hefty fine handed down by the commissioner in response to coach Gregg Popovich resting some of his best and oldest players in the midst of a grueling stretch of the Spurs' schedule.
David Stern has fined the Spurs $250,000.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 30, 2012
First of all, the move is certainly justified on Popovich's part.
The Spurs' head coach was doing the smart thing by giving his aging players a rest in what will be a long, 82-game season. It is more than understandable that Popovich would make such a move in order to help keep his stars fresh for the long haul, considering that they are no longer spring chickens.
For Stern, money and ratings are king, and that means sitting star players out during a nationally televised game against the defending NBA Champions is simply unacceptable, no matter how logical the reason may seem.
Logic has proven to be an enemy to our "dear" commissioner.
However, Stern forgot to realize that it isn't his job to make decisions about individual teams and how they handle their roster. That is supposed to be left up to the team's management, namely the head coach.
But in true Stern fashion, he will look to force teams into doing what he wants, regardless of what is in the best interest of an NBA team. Besides, if the Spurs were to suffer from the breaking down of either Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker or Tim Duncan, not even dictator Stern would be able to help.
So where does it end?
If a team decides to rest its best players because of tough scheduling or even for something as little as a cold, should that team fear a hefty fine like the one given to the Spurs if it happens to fall on a nationally televised game?
Well, one thing's for certain: Stern is doing his best to scare teams into forcing their players out onto the floor regardless of the situation. Once again, in tyrant fashion, it will be Stern who will solely judge just what warrants such a ridiculous punishment, and there won't be any room to fight it.
Should the Spurs have been punished at all for resting their star players?
This isn't the first example of Stern overreaching, and it won't be the last, I'm sure. We all remember how he vetoed the trade that would have made Chris Paul a Los Angeles Laker (per Howard Beck of the New York Times), a move that was unprecedented to say the least.
The current commissioner might be stepping down (per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today) by February 2014, but there is still plenty of time for David Stern to rule over the NBA as he sees fit.
And judging from past experience and this outrageous punishment, that is a scary thought.