Skip to content

Popovich accepts NBA's rest rules, but questions definition of 'marquee' player

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

The NBA's decision to fine teams $100,000 or more if they're to rest healthy players, especially for nationally-televised games, was largely in response to the actions of head coaches like Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, who made a habit out of sitting his key guys for such matchups.

Popovich, however, seems to be on board with the league enforcing its new legislation, especially since the schedule was modified to have less reason to keep his stars out.

"So the league, obviously, they've compromised a great deal. This schedule is great. The way they've reduced back-to-backs and four-in-five-nights and that sort of thing, Adam (Silver) listened and I think that's huge," said Popovich ahead of his team's game against the Boston Celtics Monday, according to ESPN's Chris Forsberg. "It speaks a lot for how much he cares about the players and the league. The fans are important, too, and we gotta understand that."

The only real issue Popovich has, though, is definition, and what exactly constitutes a "marquee" player.

"On the TV games, the only thing I wonder about is how far down does the list go?" Popovich asked. "I forget the words - not your important players or your star players or your marquee players or something like that? There's a word, I just can't remember what the adjective was but how far down the list does it go? How do you tell us? Are you going to tell us which ones are the marquee players and which ones aren't?

"I guess they will if we don't play them and the fine comes, then I guess we'll know this guy is a marquee player."

The NBA sent out a memo near the end of last season encouraging owners to take more initiative in decisions concerning players resting. At the time, Popovich admitted he was going to continue to handle his roster as he saw fit.

This obviously came well before the Board of Governors voted to allow Silver to hand out fines to teams caught in violation of the new guidelines in regards to resting players.

Said guidelines mandate that barring unusual circumstances, teams should not be resting multiple players that are deemed healthy to play for the same game, or on the road when fans in opposing arenas only get to see them once or twice per year.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox