Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Dick Vitale and Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy had their say about practicegate and the players involved. Phil Jackson has already thrown his two cents so why not pile on.
Vitale appeared on Mike and Mike in the morning on ESPN radio and blasted the players for what they did.
“What happened in Detroit was absolutely absurd," Vitale said. "When those players did what they did in that mutiny, unbelievable. It is absolutely sad and a black eye and absolutely hurts the image of the NBA big time. When guys like, for example, (Austin) Daye and (Chris) Wilcox and (Rodney) Stuckey, they all apologize for being late because they overslept, they couldn't come to the shootaround, give me a break! You're making hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars, you're making millions playing a kids' game, and you're going to oversleep! And then there's the scenario where (Tayshaun) Prince and (Tracy) McGrady, they were sick, they couldn't go to the shootaround. Are you serious? That's absolutely a tragedy. And you know what? It breaks my heart. For someone who, for over 50 years, loves the game, loves people, loves being with people, when you hear that, man, I'd rather go watch some sixth-, seventh-graders play in some Little League game than spend thousands of dollars to watch a bunch of guys who don't give a damn.”
Sounds like vintage Vitale to me, but I do have to agree with what he's saying. Van Gundy appeared on the Dan LeBatard Show to pile on the Pistons. I'm suprised LeBatard didn't chime in considering he gets in any dig about anything Detroit.
Van Gundy said, "If there are players who truly were healthy and 'boycotted' practice — I don't care what the problem they have with the head coach is — why would you want those guys on your team in any situation? All of us have problems with our bosses at times, but you don't choose to just not show up for work. That's about as childish and unprofessional as you can get. And clearly, that illuminates some of the Pistons' problems right there. When you've got that many guys with that little toughness and professionalism on your team, it wouldn't matter who is coaching them — you're not going to be very successful. They've obviously got the wrong guys in that locker room. That's about the weakest group of players I've seen in the NBA — people that would do that. Patrick Ewing and I were talking about it and we were saying that if any of those guys become free agents, why in God's name would you want any of them on your basketball team? I know this much about John Kuester. John Kuester is one of the nicest people in our profession, so he didn't get out of line and treat anyone like a sub-human or anything else. They might not have liked his coaching decisions — playing time, how he's handling rotations, whatever. You don't simply not show up for (work) when you're getting paid well and you're supposed to be a professional and a competitor. That's a very weak group of people."
Some harsh words from someone whose franchise player might be leaving town.