What Happened Last Night: David Stern Robs San Antonio, David Wright Robs The Mets

  • Joe Levine

Friday night featured a full slate of relatively boring NBA action and not much else, but a couple of big stories emerged among the clutter of Indiana at Sacramento, Phoenix at Toronto, and so forth. In a week where we had two winners of the $550 million Powerball jackpot, two more people were able to cash in for no good reason in a big way.

David Stern fines the Spurs $250,000 for “disservice to the league and [its] fans”

NBA commissioner David Stern had warned San Antonio that they would pay for benching star players Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili for the team’s nationally-televised game Thursday against the Miami Heat.

Last night, the Spurs found out just how much they had to pay: $250,000.

“The result here is dictated by the totality of the facts in this case,” Stern said in a statement. “The Spurs decided to make four of their top players unavailable for an early season game that was the team’s only regular-season visit to Miami. The team also did this without informing the Heat, the media, or the league office in a timely way. Under these circumstances, I have concluded that the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans.”

Teams are required to report as soon as they know a player will not travel because of injury.

The league’s statement said the Spurs were in violation of league policy reviewed with the board of governors in April 2010 against resting players in a manner “contrary to the best interests of the NBA.”

There’s nothing I can say about this that wasn’t already said beautifully by Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday, but I will note that this is just another notch for those keeping a tab on how inept David Stern is as a commissioner, which now emerges after decades of hiding behind the success created for him by the mere existence of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan.

David Wright turns pedestrian season into eight-year, $138 million extension with New York Mets

What would you pay for a 29-year-old third baseman that batted .306 last year with 21 home runs and 93 RBI? If you’re the Mets, you re-sign him for the biggest contract in franchise history.

Wright’s new deal edges out the previous franchise record held by Johan Santana, whose current six-year, $137.5 million deal runs through 2013.

The Mets now have Wright under contract until he’s 37. Wright hasn’t hit over 30 homers in a season since 2008 or over 100 RBI since 2010. So I think we’re all pretty much waiting for that last season when he’ll be making over $17 million to bat around .250 with 12 homers and 53 RBI. Meet the Mets!

[ESPN, Yahoo!]