The league has an expectation that fans paying hundreds of dollars should get what they paid for. On Friday, the Phoenix Suns announced a ‘‘satisfaction guaranteed night’’ next Thursday against Dallas, offering fans a rebate if they didn’t enjoy their experience in what the team called a first-of-its-kind promotion in the league.
But nobody buying a ticket can be assured of seeing his favorite players. The Heat occasionally sat their superstars late last season for what the organization termed a ‘‘maintenance program,’’ and a late-season matchup against the Celtics included the following DNPs: James, Wade, Bosh and Boston’s Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo.
Then there are the neutral-site preseason games the league stages in markets where fans rarely get to see the NBA live. Signs outside the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. before a Celtics-Knicks matchup in October featured pictures of Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony, although neither played despite being healthy.
With Stern reaching in now, does he reach that far? Or are there be a separate set of guidelines depending on the calendar?
The league wouldn’t clear that up, not commenting beyond its statement. The Spurs were unavailable Friday after the long trip.
They were resting.
AP Sports Writer Howard Ulman in Boston contributed to this report.
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