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Spurs sued for sitting players vs Heat claim they violated state law
Tags:  action, basketball, david stern, espn, ginobili, heat, injury, league, manu ginobili, miami, money, nba, san antonio, san antonio spurs, spurs, stern, tim duncan, tony parker, trade Tags
GRENDEL is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:15 PM   #1
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By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

The San Antonio Spurs are being sued by a lawyer who is alleging that the team violated the state's deceptive and fair trade practices law.

On Monday, Larry McGuinness filed a class action suit in Miami-Dade County, stating that the team's head coach, Gregg Popovich, "intentionally and surrepticiously" sent their best players home without the knowledge of the league, the team and the fans attending the Nov. 29 game against the 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.

Before the game, Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green back to San Antonio, saying that he believed that resting his top players for their fourth game in five days was a smart decision.

Even though players aren't guaranteed to play at any time, the lines are a little more blurred since teams charge fans more to attend games versus better teams. When asked how he thought the fans felt, Popovich admitted at the time that it wasn't ideal.

"If I was taking my 6-year-old son and daughter to the game, I would want them to see everybody," Popovich said. "And if they weren't there, I'd be disappointed."

It's often assumed that fans might not see certain high-profile players because of injury, but McGuinness said this was different given that all of the top players were not available to play.

"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."

NBA commissioner David Stern apologized to fans for Popovich's decision at the time, calling it "unacceptable." Days later, the NBA, which is not named as a defendant in this case, fined the team $250,000.

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

McGuinness said he didn't believe that the Spurs were served with the lawsuit yet. Team spokesman Tom James said he was not in the position to comment on the case.


http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/88...ng-top-players

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superfob is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:25 PM   #2
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Their employees, not slaves.

Can I sue a Mickey D's because my favorite cashier didn't come to work? They paid for a game between the Spurs and Heat, not player X vs player Y. What would happen if the Spurs traded all their top players the night before so they couldn't suit up?
 
MambaJoe is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:26 PM   #3
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This is getting ridiculous. People suing teams now because that team didn't play some of their players... Coach Pop had a good reason to sit out his players and plus, he has the rights to sit whoever he wants.

Even though that guy paid for expensive tickets, it was still a good game. This needs to end now. People will start suing NBA teams for stupid reasons like resting their star players before playoffs and such. Each team has the right to rest whoever they want.

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Aleron is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:30 PM   #4
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There's a reason medical malpractice insurance is twice as expensive in Dade County than any other area in the country....
 
CometsWin is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superfob View Post
Their employees, not slaves.

Can I sue a Mickey D's because my favorite cashier didn't come to work? They paid for a game between the Spurs and Heat, not player X vs player Y. What would happen if the Spurs traded all their top players the night before so they couldn't suit up?
The cashier at Mickey D's isn't the product.
 
KingLeoric is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
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I can understand the complain but a lawsuit?!

A ticket is a just a ticket. It doesn't matter what the reason is, no player is guaranteed to play.

If a player is injured right before the game (or even in during the game), you can't tell him "You have to get back on the court and play, cause those tickets were already sold". Rudy Gay has missed a few games for "personal reasons" this season and they were not announced until right before the games started.

Furthermore can people sue Hawks for scoring 20 points in the first half? They paid to see more than that didn't they?
 
adeelsiddiqui is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:34 PM   #7
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So if the Heat suck with Wade and decide to bench him; the fans can sue the team? At the end of the day, most of the suits at the game don't care about winning, they care about seeing star players so they can "talk about sports" at work the next day.
 
JuanValdez is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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I'm glad the Spurs got sued. That's some bush-league crap Pop pulled. I think it'll be settled quickly and we won't ever hear how the lawsuit story ended - NDA and all.

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Originally Posted by KingLeoric View Post
Rudy Gay has missed a few games for "personal reasons" this season and they were not announced until right before the games started.
Nobody pays to see Rudy Gay.

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JayZ750 is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superfob View Post
Can I sue a Mickey D's because my favorite cashier didn't come to work?
Not that any analogy is perfect, but the more accurate one would be you go to a McDonald's, they have the Quarter Pounder up there, you order it, pay for it, wait for it, they call your order, you pick it up, and its a single chicken nugget, and they say sorry, we decided to send the quarter pounders back.

That said, what would likely happen in that case is the customer would be refunded, if not by that location, than by McDonald's corporate (assuming a big enough stink was made).

I don't think the Spurs should be getting sued. I do think that fans should at a minimum be refunded the "premium" they paid for the "premium" ticket, but more likely be refunded the whole ticket... by the league, who already fined the Spurs.

The league also needs to set up rules which say this can't happen... IF they decide those are the rules they want to have.
 
MorningZippo is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:44 PM   #10
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That legal standing is total crap, and will be shot down in court. Move along ladies

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ArtV is online now Old 01-15-2013, 03:48 PM   #11
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Buying a ticket against the Spurs doesn't guarantee you a seat to watch Timmy and Co. It only guarantees you a seat to watch the Spurs players...which they saw. Now you might assume and hope for Timmy and I can totally understand the disappointment when the starters weren't even in the building but to sue for this is ridiculous.

I think it's more like going to Morton's, ordering the porterhouse and instead of getting a choice custom porterhouse cut, they cooked you up a porterhouse that they bought at Randalls. It might not be quite as good but it's still a porterhouse. If the menu doesn't specify then you ordered, paid for and got a porterhouse.
 
wekko368 is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanValdez View Post
I'm glad the Spurs got sued. That's some bush-league crap Pop pulled. I think it'll be settled quickly and we won't ever hear how the lawsuit story ended - NDA and all.
I doubt the Spurs settle such a ridiculous lawsuit. The guy paid to see the Spurs. He saw the Spurs.
 
coolweather is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:49 PM   #13
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the 250K fine should go to the fans.
 
sammy is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:51 PM   #14
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That decision also affected people that gambled on that game.
 
JuanValdez is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wekko368 View Post
I doubt the Spurs settle such a ridiculous lawsuit. The guy paid to see the Spurs. He saw the Spurs.
It is oftentimes easier to pay a modest sum to make these things go away than actually let it go before a judge. Even if the suit was without merit, there are costs associated.

My mother's company long ago was sued by a local resident after an industrial accident because his dog wouldn't bark thereafter. Sure, they could have beat him in court, but who wants to bother with that. So they settled.

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wekko368 is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanValdez View Post
It is oftentimes easier to pay a modest sum to make these things go away than actually let it go before a judge. Even if the suit was without merit, there are costs associated.

My mother's company long ago was sued by a local resident after an industrial accident because his dog wouldn't bark thereafter. Sure, they could have beat him in court, but who wants to bother with that. So they settled.
Think about the precedent it sets.
 
JayZ750 is offline Old 01-15-2013, 03:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtV View Post
I think it's more like going to Morton's, ordering the porterhouse and instead of getting a choice custom porterhouse cut, they cooked you up a porterhouse that they bought at Randalls. It might not be quite as good but it's still a porterhouse. If the menu doesn't specify then you ordered, paid for and got a porterhouse.
Except the NBA is very specific in their marketing. They don't market teams, they market players... including Duncan, Parker, etc. (more so in previous years, but still).

In your example, if the Morton's had language on the menu, or a radio/tv/newspaper ad that specifically talked about how the porterhouse is a special porterhouse sourced blah blah blah, then they served you a cheap, Randall's one, absolutely as a customer you should be entitled to a refund. It's false advertising.

I'm not sure what the law is, mind you, just my opinion...
 
KingLeoric is offline Old 01-15-2013, 04:02 PM   #18
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Except the NBA is very specific in their marketing. They don't market teams, they market players... including Duncan, Parker, etc. (more so in previous years, but still).
So it's Stern's fault after all.
 
wekko368 is offline Old 01-15-2013, 04:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayZ750 View Post
Except the NBA is very specific in their marketing. They don't market teams, they market players... including Duncan, Parker, etc. (more so in previous years, but still).
How exactly does the NBA market players and not teams?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayZ750 View Post
In your example, if the Morton's had language on the menu, or a radio/tv/newspaper ad that specifically talked about how the porterhouse is a special porterhouse sourced blah blah blah, then they served you a cheap, Randall's one, absolutely as a customer you should be entitled to a refund. It's false advertising.
A more appropriate analogy would be if Morton's served you the worst cut from the special porterhouse source.
 
superfob is offline Old 01-15-2013, 04:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CometsWin View Post
The cashier at Mickey D's isn't the product.
I disagree. The product is a basketball game. Otherwise shouldn't I be just as satisfied as seeing Duncan vs Lebron in a ping pong match?

The product specifically for that day is the San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat. Not Tim Duncan's vs Lebron's. I understand that the NBA markets stars because it's easier to relate to a person instead of a team location or logo.

Should I sue the Rockets if Lin doesn't play tonight against the Clippers because I had purchase my tickets in advance? Doesn't matter the reason why the coach opts not to play his players. As long as the correct team shows up and plays against the home team, to me that is the extent of the contract between the fan.
 

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