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Stern: Spurs rested too many players too early

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Stern: Spurs rested too many players too early

NEW ORLEANS (AP) NBA Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday his $250,000 fine of the San Antonio Spurs was justified because the club went beyond what league owners agreed was a reasonable approach to resting healthy players.

Stern said coaches should have the authority to rest players at the end of the season, but that teams should not rest four starters little more than a month into it, and the team made matters worse by not notifying the league beforehand.

Last week, the Spurs sent home Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green before a game in Miami. Stern points out that Green is 26 and Parker 30, and that he doubted any of the players needed rest this early in the season in what was also their only visit to Miami.

``In the case of San Antonio, they didn't just come into town and rest healthy players, they sent a 26-year-old and a 30-year-old, plus Manu and Tim home virtually under cover of darkness ... and without notifying as our rules require for injury and illness,'' Stern said before watching the Hornets play the Los Angeles Lakers.

Stern said owners discussed resting healthy players at a meeting in April 2010, and that the Spurs would have remembered it.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich often rested healthy players last season after the lockout and there was no punishment, but Stern decided to act after this game, which was televised nationally by TNT.

``Maybe it's my mistake not to think that injury and illness when you're secreting someone away should also include deciding to move them out,'' Stern said. ``So in all of the circumstances, I thought that if we didn't do something this time, there would never be a reason to do it.

``(It was the Spurs') only visit to Miami, practically the first month of the season. Notifying nobody and sending home young and healthy players merited a rebuke and I did it.''

Stern said the punishment had nothing to do with his feelings about Popovich but solely the actions of the Spurs, who ignored NBA rules that teams must notify the league, opposing team and media when players won't travel because of injury.

They have not appealed the fine.

``This was a team decision,'' Stern said. ``This was not me and Pop. Pop is a great coach, Hall of Fame coach, and this decision was made by the entire senior management of the San Antonio Spurs. And I felt that they were doing what they perceived as their job and I was doing what I presume as my job and that's what happens.

``I would suggest to you if we had been notified it wouldn't have happened, so maybe from their perspective they did the right thing.''

Stern was making a regularly scheduled visit with first-year Hornets owner Tom Benson, who is also the owner of the NFL's Saints, to see how Benson's plans for the NBA franchise were taking shape. Stern visited Saints headquarters, where new construction has begun on additions that will also accommodate Hornets offices and practice courts.

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Zion Williamson joins Rui Hachimura by signing with the Jordan brand

Zion Williamson joins Rui Hachimura by signing with the Jordan brand

 Rui Hachimura and Zion Williamson, two of the most high-profile NBA rookies from the 2019 NBA Draft class, have joined forces on a new team, Jordan Brand. 

The New Orleans Pelicans' new star and No. 1 overall draft pick announced Tuesday afternoon that he'll be signing with Jumpman on a multi-year deal; the details of the deal have yet to be revealed. 

This decision comes about a month after Hachimura became the first Japanese-born player to sign with the brand

Both players have entered the NBA with an incredible amount of fanfare and hype surrounding their transitions to the Association. Hachimura was the star attraction for 61 media members from 21 different outlets in Japan during the NBA Summer League, while Zion's American media presence, understandably, was also substantial.

When Hachimura signed in June it was a dream come true for him and his family. Williamson shared similar sentiments when outlining why he decided to join the Jordan Brand team:

“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family," Williamson told Nike News. "Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”

Since their thrilling faceoff in college, when Gonzaga edged an 89-87 victory over the Blue Devils thanks to Hachimura's 20 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks, the two talents have experienced a similar, yet unique, tip-off to their careers.

It's said that if you look good you play good, and it seems both Hachimura and Williamson have that first part figured out.  

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Redskins365 Episode 2: This Is Where I Wanted To Be

Redskins365 Episode 2: This Is Where I Wanted To Be

Over the 2019 offseason, the Washington Redskins periodically released episodes to a new series called "Redskins 365". Here, viewers can get an all-access look into all the important moments leading up to the 2019-20 season.

In Episode 2 titled "This Is Where I Wanted To Be" the focus in on the players, both new and old.

When free agency opened up during the 2019 offseason the biggest splash the Redskins made was the acquisition of safety Landon Collins. Heading over from a divisional rival, Collins as well as other members of the organization break down the signing and his fit within the team. The safety also shares his story about receiving a Sean Taylor jersey and what it means to join the team his idol played on.

The episode also touches on other free agent signings Ereck Flowers and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as well as the trade for quarterback Case Keenum. Head coach Jay Gruden gives his thoughts on the newest member of the QB room and explains how he'll fit in with Colt McCoy.

Speaking of McCoy, the show then takes a detour to Austin, Texas. There, McCoy reflects on his time at the University of Texas as well as his up and down NFL career that included a season-ending injury just a season ago.

From one Big 12 star to another, the episode concludes with a spotlight on Adrian Peterson. After a whirlwind first season in Washington, AP is back for more. The always-dependable runner shares his thoughts on his first season and explains how he deals with expectations.

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