NBA fines Spurs $250,000 for sending starters home

NBA fines Spurs $250,000 for sending starters home
FILE - This Jan. 22, 2011 file photo shows San Antonio Spurs, from left, guard Manu Ginobili, of Argentina, Richard Jefferson, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, of France, watching action from the bench in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans. The Spurs played without Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Danny Green Thursday night, Nov. 29, 2012 against the Miami Heat in Miami, all sent back to San Antonio by coach Gregg Popovich, who said the move was in his team's best interest. NBA Commissioner David Stern called the decision "unacceptable," apologizing to fans and saying that sanctions against the Spurs will be forthcoming. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, FIle)

The NBA fined the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 on Friday for sending four players home Thursday before their game Thursday night in Miami.

Commissioner David Stern said in a statement that 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 their six-game road trip.

"The result here is dictated by the totality of the facts in this case," Stern said. "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."

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."

After that meeting, Stern said owners had discussed the issue of sitting healthy players but that there was "no conclusion reached, other than a number of teams thought it should be at the sole discretion of the team, the coach, the general manager, and I think it's fair to say I agree with that, unless that discretion is abused."

The Heat rallied late to beat the Spurs 105-100.