BOSTON — If David Stern intended to send some sort of message with the $250,000 fine he assessed the San Antonio Spurs for resting their three top players on Thursday night, Celtics coach Doc Rivers does not seem to think much of it.
Whatever Stern’s intent, Rivers said that the league’s punishment of the Spurs and coach Gregg Popovich will not affect how Rivers manages rest for his team.
“I’m not going to give it a lot of thought, honestly,” Rivers said. “Listen, we’ll do it when we want to do it and we should be able to do it. It could be early in the season, end of the season. Now, what if we give a guy a night off because he has a family thing? It’s just so many things here. Hopefully, we all figure it out.”
Stern’s gross overreach seemed fairly unpopular at the TD Garden on Friday. In addition to Rivers, Blazers coach Terry Stotts and Jeff Green basically agreed that coaches have the right to make pretty much whatever decisions they want.
The Celtics played the Bobcats in Charlotte last April without Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who stayed in New Jersey and later met up with the team ahead of their game in New York two days later. Unlike Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green, though, Pierce and Garnett did not get sent home on a Southwest flight — they bunked up at a Four Seasons for the night.
“That’s a pretty nice deal,” Rivers chuckled.
Check out more from Rivers in the video above.