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 30, 2010
Posted on: March 10, 2011 4:15 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Stern is an a--hole dictator that needs a back alley beating, and frankly, i'm not one for violence, but what happens to D12 everynight goes without reepercussions by the opponent, so why should they stop. 

Since: Sep 29, 2009
Posted on: March 10, 2011 4:04 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Well written Golliver. What Van Gundy said is completely true and everyone knows Stern is a goon. He controls the NBA with an iron fist and instead of fixing problems, he puts a rule out where you can't call out the officiating our heavy fines will be handed out. He needs to go! Stern ruined the NBA.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: March 10, 2011 3:56 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

David Stern has completely ruined this league. It's almost unwatchable now. Under his watch he has allowed the inmates (players) run the asylum to the point where there are now about 8 decent teams and 22 Washington Generals.

Everybody better pray there's a long lockout next season or the NBA will cease to exist in another decade.

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2011 3:44 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

"his aberrant behavior" ??? Aberant Behavior? He had an opinion. Call out the goon squad.

Aberrant behavior sounds like something that would get you 10  to 20 years. My guess is that Stern would do that if he could.

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: March 10, 2011 3:35 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Little Napoleon is flexing his muscles, hoping to instill fear and respect in his minions.  NOT GONNA HAPPEN!
Stern is a laughingstock, and the league is quickly turning into the same.

Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2011 3:27 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

     Van Gundy is right about bogus officiating.  SINCE WHEN is AMERICA a country where you can't voice your opinion???   Stern is a BAFFOON and a dictator if he can't handle the Heat.   Most of the officials are so old, half of em should be forced into mandatory retirement.  There's plenty of young guys who are much more capable, chompin at the bit to get a chance to officiate in the NBA, but all these old fogies are cloggin up their chances.   Add to this, I wouldn't doubt half of the officials are corrupt as well and probably involved in some sort of betting scheme.  Night in and night out they seem to control games in order to control the outcome of the scores.   You don't OWN ME Stern .. so sit their and eat this ugly truth.  Last year's final was a prime example of the league desperately trying to rekindle an old rivalry by pretty much giving away the finals to the Lakers via FTs ... particularly in the 4th quarter of game 7.  It was BLATANTLY OBVIOUS who you and your hack league wanted, or should I say NEEDED to win in this ME-FIRST Star run league.  We had Michael earlier pave the way and you desperatley needed Kobe to take the reigns.   Officiating has been so abysmal, you and your cronie officials have made the game all but unwatchable.   You sir are a joke.  The league is a joke.  I hope the NBA is locked out for a year so we don't have to watch this garbage you call the NBA.   And while we're at it ...  get rid of a few teams as well.  This watered down league is horrendous.   The three A-ME-gos down in Miami have made a mockery of the NBA all the while getting away with conspiring with one another long before the 3 united.  If the owners ever did something like this, they'd be accused of collusion.   But I have no sympathy for the owners either.  They are money grubbing pigs, just like the rest of you, which is why I could care less if the NBA is played at all next season.   Stern .. maybe it's time YOU go as well, you have worn out your welcome and ruined what USED TO BE a great league and game to watch.

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2011 3:20 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Boo Hoo! Looks like the little Dictator got his panties in a bunch. So now he's gonna try and strong arm the Magic ownership and Van Gundy into keeping his mouth shut....WHICH PROVES VAN GUNDY'S POINT!

The Magic's response should be, "You work for me. I don't work for you. How about I start talking to the other owners about finally firing you?"

Since: Jun 22, 2010
Posted on: March 10, 2011 3:06 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy


Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 10, 2011 2:33 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Please. Listen to this old clown jawjack about going to the ownership of the Magic. First, everything SVG said is 100% correct. Stern hates it when his crooked and inept, officials..are questioned. How dare anyone question that group of rented mules! Second, Stern is the owner's pet. If he's going to run to ownership, he better have slippers in his mouth. Now lie down and be quiet. Good boy.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: March 10, 2011 2:28 pm

David Stern blasts Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Van Gundy is right on both accounts. Howard is at the losing end of most calls and not really officiated fairly. And yes, Stern doesn't like any questioning of authority or the officials. But why not? Coaches are subjected to such scrutiny, why are the officials protected?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or