Blog Entry

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2011 1:59 pm
 
NBA commissioner David Stern responds harshly to critical comments from Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. Posted by Ben Golliver. david-stern

You knew this was coming.

Back on Monday, we noted that Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was quite upset with his center Dwight Howard being suspended after receiving his 16th technical foul of the season, as Van Gundy believes Howard is a target of hard fouls and that the NBA referees are too quick with the whistle in handling Howard's responses. In the process, Van Gundy made a comment that he "certainly can't have an opinion because David Stern, like a lot of leaders we've seen in this world lately, don't really tolerate other people's opinions or free speech or anything." Van Gundy later clarified that he wasn't comparing Stern to any particular dictators, but the damage was done.

During an ESPN radio interview on Thursday (audio here), Stern shot back, and he shot back hard, implying that he was taking action against Van Gundy by speaking with his Magic superiors and that Van Gundy's frustration is borne out of his team's struggles. 

Here are some of Stern's comments via the Orlando Sentinel.
“I’m going to engage in a private discussions at this point with his franchise,” Stern said. “I actually am not going to talk to Stan Van Gundy. I’m going to talk to the ownership of the team.
“I see somebody whose team isn’t performing, whose star player is suspended, who seems to be fraying.

“I would venture a guess that we’re not going to be hearing from him for the rest of the season,” Stern said. “I think when he stops and reads what he said, realizes what he did, he will say no more. … I have a feeling some modicum of self-restraint will cause Stan, and the team for which he works, to rein in his aberrant behavior.”
Van Gundy's frustration is legitimate and has accumulated over the years, as Howard's issues with technicals are nothing new. While his criticism of Stern is factually true -- Stern has made it clear through statements and heavy fines that he does not want any public comments about his league's officiating and its policies -- it wasn't prudent and it was certain to anger the commissioner given the timing in relation to significant world affairs. 

Van Gundy either popped off without thinking (a distinct possibility) or he was ready to take a stand on this battlefield and suffer whatever repercussions would come his way. I tend to lean towards the former explanation, as Van Gundy did attempt to clarify that his remarks were not meant to compare Stern to leaders in Egypt and Libya. 

Stern doesn't often come across petty but his personal, direct attack on Van Gundy and the Magic was way too much, and it was absolutely beneath him as the league's commissioner. When cooler heads prevail, it seems fair to conclude that both sides will wish they could take back their most heated comments.

The worst part: the real thrust of Van Gundy's message, that Howard needs to be protected better even if he's one of the biggest and strongest players in the league, got totally lost in the shouting match.
Comments

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 2:35 pm
 

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Talk about hitting the nail on the head!  Van Gundy for president.  It appears this back-and-forth was indeed personal, at least for Stern.  And really, as Komrade Stern has made himself, like Mao in China, the face of the the league, any attack on the leage by necessity is a personal attack on David Stern.  I'm a Pistons fan, I don't have a dog in this hunt, but Howard obviously gets hacked with an intensity and frequency not seen since Shaq in his prime.  And just like with Shaq, Stern does nothing about it.  He would rather sit on self-righteous ivory-tower rear and control what is and isn;t said about the league rather than aseert accountabilty on this league's official.  Hey Stern, it wasn't so long ago that every coach in the league that complained about The Gambler (Donaughy) was fined.  As it apperas they were all correct, did you give them their fines back and apologize?  No, you threatened more fines if anyone discussed it.  Why does he hate truth, free speech, and introspection so much?  Van Gundy, you are my new hero in sports.  Keep it up, and maybe like in Eygpt, eventually the tyrannt will be forcefully removed.

I will not watch another NBA game until Stern quits or resigns.  But being a Piston's fan that may save me some pain actually.



Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: March 11, 2011 11:39 am
 

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

David Stern needs to go!!  He is actually making Stan Van Gundy look absolutly correct.  I've been saying since the last labor stoppage that he needs to go.  He's taking passion away with his BS "Respect the Game" rules and giving his already viewed as corrupt officials more power to change the game.  Dwight Howard gets murdered down low.  I hate the Magic, but the Magic organization is right.  They don't call the game fairly at all.  You breath on Pau Gasol, he flops and falls down and its a foul.  Howard mans up and holds his ground and no call.  I prefer Howard's way of playing.  I'm sick of all the BS European Soccer flopping in the game now.  It all started with Vlade Divac.  I have reffed numerous High School games and its extremely easy to tell who's flopping and who isn't.  STERN NEEDS TO GO!!



Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: March 11, 2011 11:38 am
 

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

David Stern needs to go!!  He is actually making Stan Van Gundy look absolutly correct.  I've been saying since the last labor stoppage that he needs to go.  He's taking passion away with his BS "Respect the Game" rules and giving his already viewed as corrupt officials more power to change the game.  Dwight Howard gets murdered down low.  I hate the Magic, but the Magic organization is right.  They don't call the game fairly at all.  You breath on Pau Gasol, he flops and falls down and its a foul.  Howard mans up and holds his ground and no call.  I prefer Howard's way of playing.  I'm sick of all the BS European Soccer flopping in the game now.  It all started with Vlade Divac.  I have reffed numerous High School games and its extremely easy to tell who's flopping and who isn't.  STERN NEEDS TO GO!!



Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 10:09 am
 

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Stern is an a$$hat.



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 10:02 am
 

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Stern is 100% complete moron - who ruined two roganizations in the Wovles & Pacers with bad moves. Van Gundy is 100% correct - why can't peiople speak free in a free country? Stern looks the other way when it benefits him - Jordan, Ewing, & Kobe.



Since: Nov 13, 2008
Posted on: March 11, 2011 9:47 am
 

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Stern has done great things for the NBA in the past.In business sometimes past acomplishments are no longer enough to carry you through mediocre present day performance.In times of change, and especially in times of turmoil, sometimes a new leader is called for.Maybe Stern is still the best man for the job... but to call people Yahoos for suggesting otherwise is unjust.



Since: Nov 13, 2008
Posted on: March 11, 2011 9:42 am
 

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Stan said nothing wrong, and in fact stated things that were factually true. While said through frustration, I thought he was remarkably composed and even mild. If you go over what he said very carefully, looking to fine or suspend him, there is nothing in there that is wrong. He did not say the ref suck, or Stern wants to keep his team down, or the games are fixed... etc. He quoted Elias stats, and allowed you to come to your own conclusion.
Stern is pissed because there is not one thing in that interview that he can point to and fine/suspend him for. So.. he gives idle threats.I believe it is time for a new commish. Absolultely. And as a new Stan Van Gundy fan, I will be cheering for the Magic in the East, even though I'm a Rockets fan.



Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: March 11, 2011 8:52 am
 

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Sorry ezjayy , but you give Howard way too much credit, he's good, but not that good. Don't forget, you need a supporting cast to win a title, just ask LJ.



Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 8:26 am
 

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Stern is a big market fan and wants to ensure Howard ends up there. Whichever big market team that may be. VanGundy and Howard have a totally legitamate gripe. At least half of his technicals were due to his reactions to flagrant fouls that werent even called fouls. Howard gets hacked every night...frequently and usually still cant be stopped. If they called a clean game, the Magic would rarely lose and the NBA would have to crown a new champion. Something that a league whose had only 7 different champs in the past 20 years doesnt like to do.
IMO, Stern has wore out his welcome and if the NBA wants to soar to new heights, parity is the name of the game. In Sterns opinion it's letting the big market teams feast on the rest of the league.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 4:28 am
 

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

It's easy to look at Marco Belinelli's foul on Shawn Marion that was ungraded to a flagrant 2 by the NBA and say that was correct. The chance for injury was too much of a risk in that foul.

Then look at the fouls Howard takes and, in most games I have seen the Magic play, one has to ask why more of the fouls on Howard are not flagrant?

The question of Stern's reasoning for Van Gundy's remarks is the true odd part in this matter. For a commissioner to attempt to explain some other person's thought is lunacy.

It's one thing to gag an employee on public speaking that hurts the company because employers can do that. But to try to explain his thinking and say he realizes what he did (wrong) and that he will (chose to?) say no more.

That, friends, is the type of wording that comes out of Iran, Libya and less often now, China. Sure seems as if the point was proven correct.


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