Here’s how I ended up with 22 e-mails titled “Re: This is Bullshit” in my inbox last night…
Sometime before Tuesday’s Spurs/Nuggets game, “The Jed” sent out a news item to the rest of the Dime crew about Gregg Popovich giving Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili the night off. (Manu reportedly had a bruised hip, but he looked fine scoring 32 points in 34 minutes of Monday’s game in Oakland.)
Jed’s take on it: “Honestly, the league should fine the Spurs for this. I know they can’t and I get why they did it, but people pay a lot of money to go to an NBA game (ESPECIALLY with the economy the way it is), and you get to the game and the Spurs rest their three best players? That stinks. I think it’s fine to rest a guy for a day or two, but to do their three best players for the same game blows.”
Dime’s Pat Cassidy later added: “Watching the Spurs might be the equivalent of watching paint dry, but that’s still not right. There are probably lots of kids in Denver who for whatever reason love Tim Duncan and Tony Parker and their parents swallowed the $500 or so it costs to take a family to an NBA game and when they get there, Popovich decides he’s sitting all of his stars? Not cool. The NBA is an entertainment product. People pay exorbitant amounts of money to watch that product. Unless those guys are physically unable to perform, they have to play.”
Apparently I was the only one who didn’t seem to have a problem with Pop’s move. To be real, I think it’s just another case of Spurs-induced haterism, and if this was any other team, nobody would have made an issue of it. Here’s how I see it: When you buy a ticket you’re paying to see two teams, and while you obviously prefer to see the best talent, you’re not guaranteed to see certain players. No one seems to have a problem with Major League Baseball teams routinely giving stars nights off. In the NBA, no one complains when Phoenix gives Shaq a night off. I’m sure Rockets fans wouldn’t mind if T-Mac and Yao were given some nights off. And from what I recall, the Wizards occasionally rested Michael Jordan (or at least they wanted to, and Mike wouldn’t let them). Think about what the Spurs are looking at: Duncan is 32 years old, he’s got a ton of mileage on him, and before last night he’d played every single game this season while covering for Parker and Manu’s injuries. In fact, TD’s 35-plus minutes a night is the most he’s played since the ’03-04 season. Why wouldn’t you give him a night off here and there? The West is close, but you don’t win any awards for playing all 82 games.
The argument went on like that all night. After a while, we decided to take it to DimeMag.com and get the readers’ opinion.
Do you think the Spurs did the fans a disservice by sitting Duncan, Parker and Ginobili last night?