David Stern Quietly Warns Stan Van Gundy to Shut Up
Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has never been afraid to speak his mind. If he thinks a player took a flop, he lets everyone know about it. When he takes issue with the way suspensions are handed out in the postseason, Stan rants about that, too. After hearing his most recent comments, the Commish has decided he’s heard enough of Stan the Man.
When Dwight Howard was suspended on Monday for racking up 16 technical fouls already this season, Van Gundy expressed his displeasure with the league’s failure to protect his big man, saying Howard is fouled excessively. He then took a direct shot at David Stern. “This is the system David Stern and his minions like,” Van Gundy said. “So that’s the system you have. … I 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 opinion or free speech or anything. So I’m not really allowed to have an opinion. So it’s up to him.”
Obviously you can’t go around saying things like that about your boss, but Stern could have been a bit less pompous with the response he gave on Colin Cowherd’s The Herd on ESPN Radio. “I would render a guess … that we won’t be hearing from him for the rest of the season,” Stern told Cowherd. “When he stops and reads what he said and realizes what he did, he will say no more. I have a feeling that some modicum of self-restraint will cause Stan and the team for which he works to rein in his aberrant behavior.”
In other words: fear me. Stern is basically bragging that he’s so powerful he doesn’t even need to take action. Once Van Gundy realizes what he said and the Magic make note of it, he’ll be cowering so badly he won’t dare say it again. In sum, I see this as one of those cases where both men are a little right and both are a little wrong. And both are being dicks.