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.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 3:52 am

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Stan is now facing the same "gun to the head" that Stern tried to use on Mark Cuban. The problem for Stan is he does not have the millions to pay for his freedom to tell the truth. (or at least, how he sees the truth) The real question is why did Stern make it public?

Stern came down hard and let everyone know he is "large and in charge". He only made a bad thing worse. But his petty action will stand because Stan is just an employee of the Magic and thus by contract an employee of the NBA. The little dictator will have the last say in this one unless Stan wants to never be in the NBA again.

Cuban beat this horse (uneven calls by refs) for over five years and while thing have gotten better, there are still problems in how some players are treated unevenly. If Kobe or D Wade got fouled as hard as Howard most of the fouls would be called as flagrant. Not so with Howard. And please, none of that "he's big and he can take it" crap. Why should he have to because he is tough. Foul for one should be a foul for all. Anyone who comes into the paint should get the same level of treatment.

And while Howard's inability to make teams pay for these fouls at the line makes it a smart play by other teams, the fact is some of the fouls go way beyond a simple "send the poor free throw shooter to the line" play. The same thing is going on for Blake Griffin and if he gets hurt by one of these over the top fouls, the league will rue losing a budding star to this type of play.

Now if Stan worked for Cuban, Stern would have no power over this issue. But Stan did feel he HAD to say something because nothing was changing. Since I'm just a fan of basketball and not a fan of the Magic, I see the issue as something the NBA still needs to work on. We have come a long way from the time when being in the same zip code as Air Jordan was a foul. But some things still need to be looked at.

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 2:33 am

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

I hate it when people take back what truths they say...Van Gundy is right on and David Stern knows this.  David Stern does exactly what Van Gundy stated and with Van Gundy retreating he shows he is as little of a man as David Stern is.  We wonder why we all hate the NBA so much...I don't watch it - I just read about it.  The NBA will implode...just watch.

Since: Feb 18, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2011 11:44 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Stern played puppet and hide in the closet as the Officiating scandal unfolded. The NBA is sickening to watch sometimes. How do we know what the official saw wasn't $$$$$$ instead of a true phantom slap on the wrist? What has changed? How did Stern make any of it better?! Funny how he won't talk to Van Gundy directly about it too! Talk about man to man confrontation when you have a problem with someone! haha Chode

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2011 11:00 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

I love all the yahoos knocking Stern. Without David, the NBA would be dead. If you look at the jokes who run MLB and the NHL, you'll get on your hands and knees and thank the almighty for a good leader like Stern. Stan Van Gundy is a fat schmuck who can't coach. He was,is, and will always be what he is and that's a fat losing yutz.

Go get him David.

Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: March 10, 2011 10:41 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Good for Stan.  David Stern is a donkey who needs to be replaced already.  He's been making an ass of himself for almost three decades now, and he needs to go.  His officials often suck, and his coaches should have the right to criticize such behavior.  Not to mention, NBA officials have been known for criminal activity.  His prized ref, Joe Crawford, was permanently suspended for tax evasion in the 90s, and about a year later, he's fully reinstated.  I'm not going to even get into Donaghy, but God forbid any coach discuss the matter publicly. 

Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: March 10, 2011 8:25 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Good point....he was threatening Van Gundy in the same way Tony Soprano would if he were a closet homosexual.  It was either priesthood or NBA commisioner. On a serious note unprofessional.  Talk about proving someones point.  I want to know what he says to the ownership before I put another dime in his pocket.  scumbag

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2011 8:13 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Hold the press,  a comish that respons to something like this in that way WOW!
If he's not on the take COM-ON MAN! when people take there title and act like a dick-taor the stuff hit's the fan.
Both gundy's are old school and the game needs more of that. the kid's have had there way for far far to long and the game suck's right now.
but let's rise the price of the game. let's pick who we want to win. how about not letting the magic get a chance to win so howard goes to a big market team. Hay, we can put him on tv more .then you make the call.. one word PLEASE!!!!!!!!!
ps: one more point look at all the good coach's that have lost there job's in this short span.HUMMMMMMMMM.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2011 8:12 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

North Amrican sports commissioners seem terrible at their job lately, this is the same commissioner that had to make copycat statements that an NFL commissioner made about not getting paid if a lock-out happend.

Pro league owners need to step up and remove the symbolic know-it-all that they pay greatly for some reason.  They have all become horrible ego-maniacs over the last few years,

Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: March 10, 2011 8:11 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

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.Well good thing everyone knows how important you are now.  Is that kind of like DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?  I am pretty sure he wanted to throw that in there somewhere.  How dare that Van Gundy question my corrupt officials!  What a stroke....he should be fired for such a comment.

Since: Mar 10, 2011
Posted on: March 10, 2011 8:09 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

The NBA is fixed. It's that simple. Stern knows this. He wants everyone to keep quit. 

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