Sportress of Blogitude

Stan Van Gundy has great line about $25K fine for criticizing refs

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Stan Van Gundy was fined $25,000 by the NBA due to critical comments about officiating made during the Detroit Pistons’ Game 1 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers during which he argued that LeBron James doesn’t get offensive fouls called on him.

The Pistons head coach arguably was trying to work the officials into watching James more closely while also attempting to get his players to stop worrying so much about the Cavs superstar.

“A couple calls have upset our guys,” Van Gundy said during an in-game sideline interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters. They’ve got to understand, LeBron’s LeBron. They’re not going to call offensive fouls on him. He gets to do whatever he wants. They’ve got to understand that.”

But Van Gundy saved his best comments about the entire situation when making comments about the $25,000 fine levied against him.

I probably deserve to be penalized for being myself,” Van Gundy said, via MLive’s Aaron McCann, by way of Pro Basketball Talk.“That’s a lot of money. That’s not a slap on the wrist.

“A slap on the wrist would have been a reprimand. Putting a reprimand or letter of censure in my file. No, this was a punishment.

“It goes to charity, which is good. I support most charitable organizations. I don’t know which one I just supported, but I’m happy to do it.”

Van Gundy is in the midst of a five-year, $35 million deal he signed with the Pistons in 2014, so he’s clearly got the money, even if it is nevertheless a nice chunk of change.

Meanwhile, in response to Van Gundy’s original comments, James earlier this week said he wouldn’t respond to the Pistons head coach’s claims, calling it all “shenanigans.”

“I’m trying to help this team advance and get another home win so we can protect home, so I don’t get (caught up in that),” he said. “Listen, I’m 31-years old, man. I don’t get caught up in no shenanigans.”

It remains to be seen how Van Gundy’s attempt at gamesmanship — and James’ relative non-reaction to them — has any impact one way or the other in respect to how the referees call the action in Game 2 Wednesday night.

Either way, as Van Gundy put it, he was only being himself.