Fan sues Spurs over Nov. 29 game

1/15/13 in NBA   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

The San Antonio Spurs received a lot of backlash in late November for sitting out their star players in a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat. The NBA commissioner David Stern decided to set a precedent for teams and coaches by docking the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 in fines for the incident. But it appears more sharks smelt the blood in the water and are trying to get a free meal ticket out of the situation. A Miami Heat fan is suing the San Antonio Spurs for allegedly violating Florida’s deceptive and fair trade practices law.
The Miami Heat fan Larry McGuinness who is a lawyer by profession, filed a class action suit in Miami-Dade County on Monday, naming the San Antonio Spurs as defendants in the lawsuit. Larry McGuinness stated that the San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich "intentionally and surreptitiously" sent home some of their best players without informing the league or fans in attendance at the Nov.29 game at AT&T Center.
Larry McGuinness claims he and other fans didn’t get their money’s worth and "suffered economic damages" as a direct result of Gregg Popovich’s decision to sit his top starters despite being in full health for the game. Fans had to pay premium price for the tickets to the Nov.29 game against a marquee team, in the form of the San Antonio Spurs.
A few hours before the game, Gregg Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green back home saying he didn’t want to strain his top starters by playing them for a fourth game in five days. Miami was the San Antonio Spurs final stop in a six-game road trip that started off against the Boston Celtics on Nov. 21.
Even though Gregg Popovich made a wise call considering the long-term availability of his top players and players aren't guaranteed to play at any time, it’s easy to see how Larry McGuinness felt duped in the bargain. Since teams charge fans a higher price in games against better teams, the audience expects a thrilling game and star-studded cast for the night. Even Gregg Popovich saw where all the criticism was coming from.
"If I was taking my 6-year-old son and daughter to the game, I would want them to see everybody," Greg Popovich stated at that time. "And if they weren't there, I'd be disappointed."
Although at times the top players of a team often miss games due to injuries, Larry McGuinness’ issue with the San Antonio Spurs is that they sat out healthy players that night.
"It was like going to Morton's Steakhouse and paying $63 for porterhouse and they bring out cube steak," stated Larry McGuinness. "That's exactly what happened here."
The fact that David Stern found Gregg Popovich’s practice “unacceptable” and apologized to the NBA fan base for the incident could back Larry McGuinness’ lawsuit.
Ironically, the undermanned San Antonio Spurs still put on a show against the Miami Heat, and kept the game close until losing 105-100 at the end of a strong performance through-and-through.
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