Miami Heat fans have an ally in David Stern.
The former NBA commissioner said he took issue with the Brooklyn Nets' decision to rest key players Brook Lopez, Jeremy Lin, and Trevor Booker in their April 12 season finale against the Chicago Bulls.
Chicago won by 39 points, ensuring they - not the Heat - would claim the East's final playoff spot.
"I have no idea what was in the mind of the executives of the Brooklyn Nets - none - when they rested their starting players," Stern told USA Today's Sam Amick and Jeff Zilgitt.
"Here we are, the Brooklyn Nets are out of the running. They have the lowest record in the sport. But they have an opportunity to weigh in on the final game with respect to Chicago. And they sit their starters? Really? It's inexcusable in my view. I don't think the commissioner maybe can, or even should, do anything about it. But shame on the Brooklyn Nets."
Stern knows all about the NBA's controversies with teams resting star players. In 2012, he levied a $250,000 fine on the San Antonio Spurs after coach Gregg Popovich sent his four best players home on a flight before a TNT game against LeBron James' Heat.
As his protege and successor Adam Silver has also indicated, Stern knows there is no easy fix to team's opting to rest players, which can be framed as completely legitimate. However, he expects advances in science to eventually mitigate the issue.
"Someday ... there will be a way to measure recovery in a certain way that it will be medically demonstrated whether a player needs rest or not," Stern said. "Not at the whim of a coach to decide that this player needs rest on the road, on the one game that they're playing in a city in the other conference."