March 12, 2011 Leave a comment
Stan Van Gundy has always been recognised as one of the NBA’s more eccentric coaches & is well known for his constant yelling from the sidelines during games, this has given him the moniker some believe somewhat unfairly as “The Master of Panic””, but if you look at his 20 plus year career you will see that this coaching style has served him well as he has made the eastern conference three times with two different teams namely the Miami Heat & the Orlando Magic twice culminating in 2008 with a run to the finals losing in 5 games to the Lakers, so there is no doubt that Van Gundy has championship pedigree but there is also a more erratic side to Van Gundy’s nature which has been in full effect over the years but none more so than when he took a shot at NBA commissioner David Stern.
It all started on March 2 2011 when being interviewed by the Orlando Sentinel Van Gundy went on a rant about how he doesn’t like the way the NBA officiates the Magic’s star centre Dwight Howard after a reporter asked him if he thought the NBA’s technical foul system was fair Van Gundy said:
“I can’t answer that. And 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 opinions or free speech or anything,” Gundy explained. “So I’m not really allowed to have an opinion, so it’s up to him. He decides. And he likes the system that he has.”
Shortly after that interview was conducted commissioner Stern when asked about the situation with Van Gundy when he appeared on Colin Cowherds radio show he said in response:
“I’m not going to talk to Stan Van Gundy. I’m going to talk to the ownership of the team. (Host: Did it make you angry?) It made me sad. That whatever the pressures are that Stan is feeling that he fell to whatever position he is in to say something like this. It made me sad. I would guess that we’re not going to be hearing from him for the rest of the season. I think when he stops and reads what he said and realizes what he did he will say no more. (Host: What kind of influence can you levy?) I have whatever influence the bylaws and constitution give me and they’re substantial, but I have a feeling that some modicum of self-restraint will cause Stan and the team that he works with to reign in his abhorrent behaviour.”
What I would like to know is do you fellow NBA fans believe that commissioner Stern should take action on Van Gundy for his latest outburst whether it be by fine or suspension of multiple games, I for one believe that this sends a bad message to coaches in the NBA to me it says that it is ok for a coach to question his employer (the NBA) because you will have no action taken against you, in the real world if an employee went on a tirade against their employer you can be sure he would be handed his pink slip & be told to start walking.
If Stern wants to be taken seriously as commissioner he needs to follow the example of NFL commissioner Rodger Goddell whereby if a coach or player steps out of line whether it be on the field of play or off said coach or player’s actions bring the game into disrepute & therefore you will be hit with a hefty penalty be it a fine, suspension of games or both.
It is time for commissioner Stern to step up & show the players & coaches of the NBA that this league does not permit you to do or say whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it just because you make X amount of $ per season, he needs to make them understand that their consequences have actions however big or little the outburst.