Miami Heat Fan Sues the Spurs for Sitting Star Players in November Matchup

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2013

It seems that problems stemming from the San Antonio Spurs resting their star players will continue.

On Nov. 29, head coach Gregg Popovich decided to send home Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green instead of allowing them to face the Miami Heat.

It was the Spurs' fourth game in five days and the final stop of a six-city, eight-day road trip, so the coach decided it would be smart to rest his players. Unfortunately, not everyone is accepting that excuse.

According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, a lawyer who bought a ticket to the game is suing the team for the incident:

On Monday, Larry McGuinness filed a class action suit in Miami-Dade County, stating that the team's head coach, Gregg Popovich, "intentionally and surreptitiously" sent their best players home without the knowledge of the league, the team and the fans attending the Nov. 29 game against the Heat. McGuinness contends that he, as well as other fans, "suffered economic damages" as a result of paying a premium price for a ticket that shouldn't cost more.

McGuinness claims that it violated the state's "deceptive and fair trade practices law."

The argument is that fans were cheated out of what they paid for, and that it is directly the fault of the Spurs.

San Antonio already received financial punishment for the incident back in December. NBA commissioner David Stern decided to fine the team $250,000 for keeping the healthy players out of the game (via ESPN):

In the case of San Antonio, they didn't just come into town and rest healthy players, they sent a 26-year-old and a 30-year-old, plus Manu and Tim home virtually under cover of darkness ... and without notifying as our rules require for injury and illness.

The team was punished for denying fans both at the game and at home a chance to enjoy a highly anticipated contest. McGuinness is making the same claim in a lawsuit.

Interestingly, the reserve players of the Spurs kept the game close and only lost 105-100 after a strong showing.

Still, this lawsuit will certainly change the way coaches set their lineups for big games in the future.