Gregg Popovich has a supporter in the coaching ranks in Kelvin Sampson as the firestorm continues about his decision to send Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Danny Green home rather than have them play against the Heat on Thursday night.
“Gregg Popovich coaches his team,” Sampson said. “Whatever his opinion is, is right. That’s his team. … He knows his team. Tim (Duncan) is older. They just played, what, four games in five nights, six in nine nights, whatever? He knows his team. Based on his track record, I tend to side with Pop.”
The game was nationally televised. David Stern released the following statement on Thursday night:
“I apologize to all NBA fans. This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.”
Those sanctions turned out to be a $250,000 fine levied against the Spurs organization.
San Antonio narrowly lost to Miami 105-100, even without their four regulars.