Fans irritated by lack of stars in Dubs-Spurs
SAN ANTONIO — A combination of San Antonio Spurs injuries and the Golden State Warriors‘ desire for rest transformed a highly anticipated marquee matchup on Saturday into a battle of backups, resulting in disappointed fans.
“I just think it takes away from it because we are here to see all the players,” said Mary Lou Mahone, a Spurs fan, who flew to Corpus Christi, Texas, from Sacramento, California, on Friday, before making the drive to San Antonio with her husband, Louis, a Warriors fan. “It’s kind of disappointing when you don’t get to see everybody. Is LaMarcus [Aldridge] even gonna be here?”
Louis Mahone added with a laugh that the situation between the teams “takes away from the game … but we’re here.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr announced after his team’s loss Friday to the Minnesota Timberwolves that he would rest Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson on Saturday. Golden State was prepping to play its seventh game on the road in its last eight contests.
San Antonio, meanwhile, had already planned to hold out star forward Kawhi Leonard, who is in the concussion protocol after taking a blow to the head Thursday in a loss at Oklahoma City. Then, the club announced hours before Saturday’s game that Aldridge would miss an indefinite period due to a minor heart arrhythmia. The Spurs also ruled out Tony Parker (back tightness) and backup point guard Dejounte Murray (groin).
“For tonight, whoever’s left is gonna go play,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before his team’s 107-85 win. “We’ll see how they do. I’m gonna show up and watch the whole thing. It ain’t gonna be pretty, but the guys that are out there are gonna compete their butts off, and they’re gonna all try to win. Some guys will play well, and some guys will play poorly. We’ll see what happens.
“We didn’t have to rest anybody tonight because they all got hurt. It could’ve been we’re resting our guys and he’s resting his guys. It just didn’t work out that way.”
Nonetheless, Binkan Cinaroglu, an executive vice president of a real estate company, wasn’t happy. Cinaroglu wanted his sister’s boyfriend, Rodrigo Parra, 21, to experience a Warriors-Spurs matchup in San Antonio.
So he purchased a plane ticket for Parra to visit San Antonio from Tijuana, so that Parra could see his beloved Curry play. Cinaroglu also bought four tickets for $1,500 apiece to sit near the Golden State bench.
“When [Kevin] Durant got hurt, I said, ‘That’s…