Quick shoutout to my man, Coach Pop, the NBA’s biggest troll. Popovich’s record speaks for itself. He’s one of the sport’s all-time greats. You’ll find no argument against Pop the coach, here. But Pop is also an asshole and a giant troll. Look no further than his decision to sit Tim Duncan for tonight’s game against the Warriors.
Tonight is the first meeting between the two best teams in the NBA. Fans, analysts, players, coaches, execs – everyone involved with this league penciled this in as a must watch. So, of course, Pop decides tonight is the perfect time to really stick it to the league. Why would the Spurs coach do this, you ask? Simply because he’s stubborn and he wants to prove a point. Pop has a history of being fined by the league for excessively resting his star players throughout the season.
ESPN – Gregg Popovich sent his best players home, deciding they reached the end of the road before the trip was finished… For that, and for keeping it a secret, the San Antonio Spurs were fined $250,000 by the NBA on Friday.
Commissioner David Stern said the Spurs “did a disservice to the league and our fans” when they didn’t bring Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili or Danny Green to Miami for the final game of the six-game trip.
“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.”
Popovich essentially surrenders regular season contests in hopes of a larger playoff payoff. This is fine, in theory, but becomes a problem when one of the league’s best teams – and biggest draws – starts running out the B-team every other night. It’s an abuse of fan’s trust, a manipulation of the system, and a presentation of shit product. It’s one thing for Sam Hinkie to construct a team with minimal chance of short-term success with the goal of long-term rebuilding in mind. It’s totally another for Gregg Popovich to have healthy, championship caliber superstars missing countless games when they are ready and willing to play. That’s a joke.
So, of course Pop chooses tonight to make the League smell his finger. Sitting Duncan is an easily defensible move – Timmy’s a legend but he’s still old as shit. Pop hasn’t made resting his stars a habit this season, yet, and with all his other guys in rotation there’s no way he will get fined. But the intent is clear. This was a message to the league that Popovich does what Popovich wants. I respect the hell out of the power move, but it’s still a big “fuck you” to NBA fans everywhere. Besides, Duncan probably would’ve only played around 25 minutes. If he’s hurting, sit him down. But, if not, let the fans watch one of the best players ever go against one of the best teams ever for one of the last times.
Oh, and those zany interviews are old hat, dude. Just answer the damn questions. Such a dick.