A Miami lawyer is suing the San Antonio Spurs for sending the team’s star players home to rest instead of playing them in a match last year against the Miami Heat in South Florida.
“The NBA is a star-driven league where you go to see the star players,” said the lawyer, Larry McGuinness, who roots for the Heat. “When they are not there, it really takes away from the experience.”
Rather than play Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — three of the NBA's biggest names — against LeBron James and Miami in a nationally televised game on Nov. 29, Spurs Gregg Popovich put them on a plane and sent them home. It came at the end of a six-game road trip and after the Spurs had played five times in seven days.
In his class-action lawsuit, McGuiness said he suffered economic damages from paying a premium price for tickets.
“I’m not the only one,” McGuiness said. “In fact, a few minutes I talked to this gentleman from South Carolina who actually just flew here with nine people, bought tickets and they learned the same way I did.”
McGuinness said it didn’t matter if the Heat won the game. He said what the Spurs served fans left a bad taste in his mouth. He likened his experience at the game to ordering a $65 porterhouse steak from a good restaurant and receiving a disappointing cube steak.
It wouldn’t be “what you bargained for,” “what you paid for” and “definitely not what you expected,” he said.
Last year, NBA Commissioner David Stern handed down a $250,000 fine against the Spurs, saying that he concluded that “the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans.”
Popovich at the time said he was "disappointed" in the fine.
“What I do from my perspective is from a coaching perspective,” Popovich said last year. “And I think the league operates from a business perspective. And I think that's reflective in the action that they took.”
If McGuiness wins his case against the Spurs, he said he would donate the money received to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
“They’re still trying to put their stores back together, their homes back together, so frankly if I can do anything to help them out I think it’s a good thing,” McGuiness said.
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