Spurs sued for thing that happened months ago

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I thought we were done discussing the controversy surrounding November 29′s 105-100 loss to the Miami Heat, when Gregg Popovich decided in advance of the game to send Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green home to rest. The Spurs were fined $250,000 by the NBA and the team paid the fine without incident. No, apparently that wasn’t enough.

According to ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell, a Miami lawyer by the name of Larry McGuinness filed a class-action lawsuit against the team for violating the state of Florida’s deceptive and fair trade practices law. I get annoyed enough by this extremely litigious society we live in today, but wow, this really takes the cake.

On Monday, Larry McGuinness filed a class-action suit in Miami-Dade County, stating Spurs coach Gregg Popovich “intentionally and surreptitiously” sent their best players home without the knowledge of the league, the team and the fans attending the Nov. 29 game against the Miami Heat. McGuinness contends that he, as well as other fans, “suffered economic damages” as a result of paying a premium price for a ticket that shouldn’t cost more.”

The previous sentences raises my first issue with the suit. The Spurs don’t set the pricing tiers for the Miami Heat. The business people who run the Heat made the decision to create pricing tiers for tickets depending on who the team was playing, and decided to include the Spurs as one of the premium ticket prices.

“It was like going to Morton’s Steakhouse and paying $63 for porterhouse and they bring out cube steak,” said McGuinness, who said he bought his ticket on the resale market. “That’s exactly what happened here.”

No, that’s actually not what it was like at all. You paid for a ticket to see the Spurs and that’s what you got. I don’t know how high-profile of a lawyer this guy is, but I doubt when he goes to Morton’s that he gets to go back in the kitchen and pick the exact $63 porterhouse the cook throws on the grill for him. He picks porterhouse off the menu and 15 or 20 minutes laters there’s a big slab of beef on a plate in front of him.

I’m also curious about this guy buying his ticket on the resale market. Did he buy the ticket off of StubHub or somewhere else the day of the game? Did he buy it after reports came out at Manu, Duncan, Green and Parker went home? They took a 10 am flight out of Orlando and reports started to come out about it shortly after that, probably around noon. If he bought it after reports came out, sorry, but that’s on you, bub.

The one good thing that has come out of this lawsuit, however, is that we have a great nickname for the Spurs bench. As Caleb Saenz points out, the Spurs bench shall henceforth be known as the Cube Steaks.

Some might argue that the Heat’s fans got their money’s worth. That’s because the team barely beat the undermanned Spurs that night 105-100. McGuinness said that doesn’t mean a game with the Spurs’ top players couldn’t have been more exciting.

No shit, Sherlock. Every game could be more exciting. The Spurs, however, at the last team in the league that you count on having an exciting game with. Gregg Popovich pulls the plug on his starters too fast and messes with rotations too much to count on having an exciting game with them. It’s also the Spurs. Casual fans don’t like the Spurs. There’s nothing “exciting” about them.

This game also could’ve been a complete dud had those four players played. The team was playing its fourth game in five nights and sixth straight road game overall. Duncan, Parker and Ginobili are all over 30 years of age and it’s nights like those in Miami where they really show their age, especially in a game against a well-rested Heat team. Green had been logging heavy minutes during that stretch with Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson out with injury. I’m pretty sure we got the most exciting game we could’ve asked for considering the circumstances.

This whole lawsuit starts to blur into basketball decisions. Pop made for him a basketball decision by sending those players home. Let us not forget that several of the Cube Steaks, including Nando De Colo, played some of their best basketball of the season in the games following that one in Miami.

Will teams open themselves up to risk of lawsuit for making what fans (and asshole lawyers) deem poor or unfair basketball decisions? Can fans (and asshole lawyers) in Portland file a class-action lawsuit against the team for drafting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant, citing all the people who bought season tickets based on the drafting of Oden and arguing that the team could’ve been more exciting with Durant?

Basically, this is all really, really stupid.

  • MN Spur

    This is where you want send this so-called lawyer a bunk junk for this cattle manure. Grow up! You paid for a ticket and you saw a game. If you were disappointed in your tickets then you should seek comfort in pre-Championship diva celebrations on DVR. We all know it won’t just be one and not two or three yada yada.

  • http://profiles.google.com/lordxar Ray Briggs II

    The ticket says you get to see the San Antonio Spurs. It does not say you get to see Duncan, Parker, Manu or any other player for a specified amount of time. You got exactly what you paid for. End of lawsuit.

  • Len

    It’ll be interesting to see what the law says about this. I think we all know what common sense says.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=796715392 Phillip Mabry

    Broadway has dealt with issues like this for a very long time. It won’t go anywhere. Not really anyway. But, I believe the NBA is all about making the Spurs a “controversial” team one way or another to beef up playoff ratings.

  • Neal Stublen

    If a Heat fan wants to sue a basketball team for placing a product on the floor that hasn’t lived up to what was advertised or expected, he should probably start in Miami, not San Antonio..

  • Pingback: For a more humorous take on the Spurs’ lawsuit | 48 Minutes of Hell

  • Sir Timothy

    I do not practice law in Florida so they will need to get a different attorney, but I would simply “enjoin”the Miami Heat organization. In other words bring them in as defendant’s in the law suit. The Spurs did not set the prices, collect the money, or designate this as a “premium game.” Furthermore the Spurs do not have the extra money that the lawsuit seeks to obtain. The Heat organization does.

    So, bring the Heat in as defendants and then freely admit that the game was not worth the ticket price and ask the judge to order that the Heat organization refund the money to the fans. There is literally not one possibility that the Spurs would be ordered to pay back money that they never even collected. Once it becomes clear that this guy is actually suing the Heat I wonder how popular he will be?

    Oh, and Spurs be sure to get the losing side (either this guy or the Heat organization) to cover those attorney fees!

  • Zach Carlson

    They should actually probably start with the Lakers but Miami is def second

  • Andrew G

    A violation of fair trade practices implies that the Spurs sent 4 players from the street out on the court to face 5. The Spurs sent 5 salaried employees to face a pretty crappy Miami team.

    McGuinness wanted his 15 minutes and ESPN gave it to him. This won’t last ten minutes in court. Although, given our judicial system and our endless appeals system, this may very well end up dragging out for a really long time.