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Lawsuit Against Spurs is Unjustified

The negative news for the San Antonio Spurs doesn't seem to disappear.
When the San Antonio Spurs got fined by David Stern for sending their star players and Danny Green home instead of having them play against the Miami Heat earlier this year, we thought the drama would over. Both sides got what they wanted: head coach Gregg Popovich got rest for his core and David Stern fined the team for $250,000. If you thought that, think again. According to ESPN.com, the Spurs are being sued by a lawyer, Larry McGuinness, for violating the state of Florida's "deceptive and fair trade practices" law.

The reasoning behind this is he and others paid for "premium tickets" and didn't get what they paid for. He expected a tough game between the two teams and also was under the impression that he'd see all the stars there for this game. There's a few holes for this suit in my opinion and many different factors that play a part in this blame game and none of them have to do with the Spurs.

False Advertising - The base for the claim is Mr. McGuinness alleges there was a false advertisement from the Spurs that they'd be playing their main players, but you have to ask: where did he get this idea? If he got that idea from the pricing, then it'd be the home team Miami Heat guilty of this, not the visiting San Antonio Spurs. When we hear advertisements for different teams, we do hear the home town advertise the star player and the away team playing against the home team in an epic matchup. Is that really San Antonio's doing though? We don't know who in fact is going to be playing or starting up until a few hours before tip off when the lineups are given. Why are the Spurs at fault if they follow procedures given by the NBA? Depending who you're a fan of, the fine itself was ridiculous since the team has only one objective and that's putting out the best possible team/product to its organization and its own fan base.

Raising Ticket Prices - This is a big deal for fans who can't afford decent tickets. The fans who really want to go see the best teams in the league usually either stay hope and hope the game isn't blacked out or decide to see their favorite home team against a lesser quality team. The reason for this is that the ticket prices aren't going to be the same for the top two teams in the league squaring off compared to the home team playing against the polar opposite team in the standings. Again, how do the visitors play a part in this? The home teams advertise and price the tickets, they're the ones this man should have a gripe with. The Spurs are visiting the away team as they're schedule dictates, what the other team and arena does is their responsbility. Do the Spurs have to fulfill the promises the other organization made to its fan base? If visitng teams catered to the home team's fan base, that would alienate and betray the teams have with their own fans. The Spurs fans go to see the Spurs play as the Heat fans pay to watch the Heat play.

Game Quality - The man alleged the game he recieved wasn't the game he paid for. He's right, it was actually a more entertaining game. The underdog Spurs kept the game close against the Miami Heat and their three stars. Think about the game we got and the game we could've had if Pop played the players he sent home. If the Spurs showed tired legs and the game got out of hand in the first quarter, you can be confident Popovich would've sat Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili the rest of the game. He's a conversative minded coach when it comes to health and that would be the same scenario if the Spurs were to have gotten a lead with the Big 3 of San Antonio on the bench. The reason Pop didn't play his players that night was because he invested in them the earlier games of the road trip to get the wins they could and fold on the toss up games. This brings up the next factor.

Scheduling - When David Stern fined the Spurs (for what he made out to be in "defense" of the fans), he didn't take into account the scheduling done by his league. Stern's NBA were the ones who put the Spurs into this situation with the games they were given. If Stern wants marquee television matchups, why not force the schedule to give both teams rest to make the game competitive instead of scheduling a live televised game that's destined to be a blow out? That's not taking into consideration all the fans Stern claims to defend. That's alienating the Spurs fans and whoever plays his top teams in terms of marketing. If the fans were really important, what about the Spurs fans who went to Miami to watch their team and instead got a tired beaten up team who couldn't bring any energy to the game because of the tough schedule?

Analyzing the situation makes a person the Spurs weren't in the wrong in this from a legal stand point. There's too many factors that forced the team to make the move they did and there's also factors that prove they aren't responsible for what they are being accused of and the Spurs even paid their debt to the league by paying a heavy fine. I have no idea if this is a legitmate case or one to see if something can be won for just being unhappy with the situation, but it seems the home team should be responsible for their fan base. The raising of ticket prices depending on opponents is ridiculous and alienates the die hard fans who own mortgages and have to pay necessary debts, especially with this recession. If you still think the home team doesn't own any responsbility in this, take into account all the reasons for this (advertising and pricing) and think about how much tax payer money is poured into arenas and needs for the team itself. While the teams are profiting millions of dollars, they still take money from their fans and overcharge the people who are not only keeping them wealthy but making them wealthier at the expense of the ones who make it possible. This man's suit should be on the team he roots for instead of the team he doesn't and is looking out for the ones who do root for them.

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