NEW YORK, February 28 ------ The NBA fined the Minnesota Timberwolves $25,000 on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) for violating the player resting policy with point guard D'Angelo Russell.
Russell was held out Sunday at Denver for a planned rest. Though Russell did not play for Minnesota on Feb. 8 because of a quadriceps injury, two days after he was acquired in a trade, the NBA deemed Russell a healthy player under the policy that was designed in part to minimize star player absences from nationally televised games.
The Timberwolves issued a statement of acceptance of the punishment that also spelled out their case for an exception to the rule.
"While we respect the league's guidelines and standards, we are a player-centric organization that's focused on learning and optimizing our players' bodies," the team said. "As a new player in our program, we chose to rest D'Angelo in order to learn his body better and to optimize his health during a difficult stretch of games and travel."