Woj: Stern to impose sanctions on Spurs?

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With a matchup against the top-seeded Memphis Grizzlies looming on Saturday, and a forthcoming matchup against Miami on the national television ledger, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich decided it would be favorable to rest Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green and Tony Parker.

His decision, while controversial, does make intuitive sense: The Spurs are at the tail end of a six-game road trip, and their fourth game in five nights, making it difficult to compete against Miami on the road. The Heat, meanwhile, haven’t played since Saturday.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, NBA commissioner David Stern isn’t too happy.

Stern: “I apologize to all NBA fans. This was an unacceptable decision by the … Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.”

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 30, 2012

The sanctions — be it a fine or suspension — are a result of what Sterns deems as a violation of league rules.

Stern has decided that Gregg Popovich sending four of his top five scorers home with a game left on long road trip violates league rules.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 30, 2012

If these said sanctions were to happen, that probably means that the league notified the Spurs beforehand. (Right?)

Before dispatching statement tonight, NBA had no communication w/ Spurs about Pop’s decision to send players home, league source tells Y!

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 30, 2012

I’m no NBA savant but I find it unlikely that Popovich is indeed breaking any rules by intentionally resting his players. Especially since, you know, he used the same tactic three times last season, twice before a nationally televised audience.

To wit, from Popovich himself:

“It’s the best thing for our team,” Popovich said. “Everybody has to make decisions about their schedule. We’ve done this before in hopes we’re making a wiser decision and not a macho decision. Perhaps it’ll give us an opportunity to stay on the floor with Memphis on Saturday night.

“Every team goes through tough months travelwise. You don’t bitch and moan about it. You deal with it the best way you can.”

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