Spurs coach Greg Popovich sent home four of the team's top players before Thursday's night's game against the Heat in Miami. Popovich acknowledged the decision was so that the players could rest as the team played its sixth road game in nine nights (and fourth in five).
It didn't sit well with NBA commissioner David Stern.
"I apologize to all NBA fans," Stern said in a statement. "This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming."
The short-handed Spurs still played the defending champion Heat tough, leading by five with 2:14 left before Miami closed the game on a 12-2 for a 105-100 victory. And the Spurs players are standing behind their coach's decision.
"Pop is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs," guard Gary Neal said. "He did what's best for us."
Read more about that story and others -- including an item about Indians president Mark Shapiro telling a fan not to come to games if all he cares about is winning -- plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Friday's Morning Mashup .