Post-game Reactions

Picture 15I want to like Stan Van Gundy, and I think I’m a semi even-keeled sports fan who (usually) steers clear of blind hate and remote-throwing rage. But, I swear, Stan Van Gundy really needs to stop playing the “nobody respects us” card, because it’s pathetic, nobody is buying it and it’s not even true.

In case you missed it, here’s what SVG said at the Jason Williams introductory press conference today, according to Fanhouse:

“For a team that went to the Finals, we really haven’t gotten the respect teams normally do. Based upon what we did last year, I think our players do feel a little under appreciated and under respected.”

Totally ridiculous, right?  Oh, but Stan wasn’t done.

“It was a lot of little things, and in the long run they’re not very important, but you feel it,” Van Gundy said. “Like the television schedule. Normally on Christmas Day, you get a rematch of the teams that played in the Finals. But instead, we get a Christmas Day matchup of the teams that they (TV executives) wanted to see in the Finals.”

My first reaction when I read this was that it had to be a joke. Maybe Fanhouse was planting this phony item to see if any gullible bloggers would bite on it. Or maybe Stan was doing one of those “how far can I push this joke?” bits, like when Austin Powers makes a half-dozen “head” puns after a shark bites off an evil henchman’s noggin.

Because Van Gundy can’t possibly be serious. He can’t be genuinely arguing that pundits have been slighting the Magic this off-season. He can’t sincerely be making the claim that a Christmas Day, 2:30 p.m. match-up at home against Boston is a sign that the league disrespects Orlando. They could put five games on Christmas Day (they have!), and the 2:30-ish slot would be the only one I could realistically watch given the morning and evening festivities. It’s the best slot!

We heard this from Stan all last season, and it made some sense then, both as an honest criticism of short-sighted media analysis and as a semi-legitimate motivational tool. People criticized Orlando’s shot selection, called them soft, said teams that shoot nearly 30 three-pointers per game don’t win championships. If you’re a coach or a player addressing this stuff every day, it makes you angry. I get it.

But let’s review what’s being said about the Magic now.

• The Magic are on national TV 24 times in 2009-10, not including games on NBA TV. Only Cleveland will be on national TV more times next season—one more time, actually. Outrageous! Unfair!

• The Magic are third in NBA.com’s first pre-season power rankings, behind only the Lakers and the Cavs. Hardly unreasonable.

• Here’s John Hollinger, one of the most widely-read NBA writers on Earth, handicapping the Eastern Conference last week:

The Magic look absolutely stacked. At this point, they have to be considered the favorites in the East, and depending on how this remix works out at the defensive end, there’s a chance they could post a jaw-dropping win total.

Mr. Hollinger, you have insulted my honor. (Slaps him in the face with a glove). I challenge you to a duel!

• Here’s Kelly Dwyer writing about the Magic’s off-season moves in a column that was entitled “The Orlando Magic are Stacked”:

Appreciate these moves, because this team is running rings around everyone else this summer…There’s a good-to-great chance it could mean a second round exit. That’s how tough the East is at the top of the order, and that’s OK. Hedo will be just fine in his first couple of years in Toronto, VC is past his prime, and these moves aren’t exactly fiscally responsible.

Doesn’t matter. They’re moves. They’re great moves. This team went to the Finals last month, and in the four weeks since, it’s gotten much, much better. Appreciate that.

Kelly Dwyer is ruddy awful!! How dare he insinuate that the Magic have not earned themselves an automatic pass into the Finals! Why, he’ll probably pick the Bulls to beat Orlando in the playoffs!

• Here’s Chad Ford on Orlando’s off-season moves, which he ranks second-best in the league, behind only San Antonio:

But the big move was the Magic’s deciding to match Marcin Gortat‘s huge offer sheet from the Mavs. Without Gortat, the Magic would have had virtually no depth at center. Now, with him back in the mix, they are deep at virtually every position and look like the favorites to win the East.

Whatever, Chad Ford. Hawaii is not even a real state.

• Want more? David Aldridge wrote that the Magic had the fourth-best off-season in the league:

Anderson, Bass and Barnes give the Magic one of the league’s deepest benches. Considering they lost a key starter and team leader in Turkoglu, it wasn’t a bad summer at all.

Fourth-best? Might as well rank them 30th, DA.

• Here’s Eric Pincus at Hoopsworld:  The arms race continues in the Eastern Conference with the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic each adding pieces that arguably makes them the favorite.

Ok, that’s enough. The only  piece of evidence Stan Van Gundy has to back up his “disrespect” screeching is that Vegas oddsmakers set the Magic at 13-2 to win the title, behind the Lakers (8-5), Celtics (3-1) and Cavs (4-1). But honestly—does anyone really care about the Vegas odds? I’ll bet you Van Gundy wasn’t even aware of them when he made his pronouncement today—a pronouncement he made at a press conference to introduce a new player, mind you.

This is a shame, because Stan Van Gundy is, by all accounts, a fantastic coach. He’s creative on offensive, his team’s defense is outstanding, he coaches to the talent that he has and he seems able to motivate his players. Shaq looks like a fool for the Master of Panic nonsense. But Van Gundy risks becoming known as a whiner if he keeps playing the “nobody believes in us” card. Because most of us believe. We have for a while now, really. Your players aren’t dumb, Stan. They realize how ridiculous the “disrespect” card is now.

So cram it. Now.

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Zach Lowe

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  • Jason F.

    Maybe you’d get more respect if you didn’t prove you were, as Shaq, said “the master of panic” in the NBA Finals by playing Jameer Nelson. Still can’t wrap my head around it and still feel the Lakers didn’t win so much as the Magic lost the Finals. Nelson has an all-star year last year (1st of his short career, so far), but misses most of the season and you think you’re gonna be better than the squad that went through the post season and got you through the finals. It’s not like your getting a proven vet like a Duncan, KG, or Nash. And as far as I remember, his “all-star” season the man had some turnover problems. So he’s definitely not gonna be as crisp with the rock as you’d think coming off of missing over half the season, SVG!

    Sorry that’s been built up in me since June 🙂

  • Jason F.

    got you to the finals…. and ….before his “all-star” season…. heheh.

  • snyde

    that “master of panic” took out the celts and dropped the cavs who most “experts” thought would sweep the magic. stan is using his normal motivation tactics. the magic get complacent when they are favored just check out some of the games they lost last year. if he can motivate his team to feel disrespected and play like they have to prove something then let him. i’m getting the feeling the writers here at celticshub are just a little bitter about kg’s knees falling apart and having an early exit in the playoffs. fact is, stan wins games. what he says in the pressers doesn’t matter one bit. i, for one, look forward to a mic getting put in front of him because i think hes the most entertaining press conference out there at the moment.

    oh yeah…go magic.

  • snyde

    i do have to give you credit though. not often does someone call Shaq a fool and call SVG a “fantastic coach” in the same column. even ESPN had to eat a little crow once they realized that he’s no joke after they all but called for his firing during the tail end of the regular season and the 1st/2nd rounds of the playoffs.

  • I’m not bitter at all about the playoffs. I actually enjoy watching Orlando quite a bit, and I hope it’s clear that I think Van Gundy is a great coach.

    But the idea that nobody respects the Magic is ridiculous, and he has to know it’s ridiculous. His incessant use of this “motivational tool”–which can’t possibly work anymore–is becoming embarrassing. And he should be better than that.

  • Stephe

    I’m a Cs fan but you can’t get too mad at this. So many successful teams use this posturing, including our own Patriots. I think it’s rare for a team to get to an NBA finals and, specifically beat the two teams ranked ahead of that team by most pundits.
    It’s rare but in this case, it’s warranted. The Magic are no longer the matchup problem fro the Cavs the were last season and the Cs are strong where they were weak last season. I’m just noting that it’s rare that the former East champion adds an all star and is ranked third and also pretty common for teams to pull the “nobody respects us” routine.
    No story in either case.

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  • huh?

    Dude, it is true that they aren’t getting respect. the team made the finals last year but is +1200 to win the title (same as the blazers), well below such teams as the Lakers, Cavs, & Celtics (who are +180, +300, +500, respectfully.)

  • Great post, btw.

  • @huh–you saw I mentioned the Vegas odds and linked to a story about them, right? But that’s literally all the evidence Big Stan has to back up his “no respect” argument.


    6 words why they dont deserve respect.


  • Really?

    A Boston sports fan is complaining about someone else using the “lack of respect” card is like Rodney Dangerfield complaining about it. Perhaps this would resonate more from a fan blog of teams that have showed quiet determination and humility. And maybe if your chief fan wasn’t a clown at ESPN, we’d actually think you were trying to make an objective point and not getting sour grapes about your “one and done” team.

  • It’s a motivational tactic, that’s it. I mean, you’re right and he’s wrong, but he’s going to play that card all season.

  • It’s probably a motivational tactic, yes, but I agree with Zach–totally worn out. I think we saw this in the Finals, too: Stan is a big rah-rah guy in time-outs, but he doesn’t leave himself enough dynamic headroom. He starts out at 10, so it just doesn’t make much of an impact when it’s down toward the end of the game and he takes it to…11. He doesn’t have that booming voice that can get that done.

    Plus he has that way of not-so-subtly throwing his players under the bus in post-game comments. As a player making millions of dollars, I wouldn’t necessarily let it bother me too much, but it sure isn’t inspiring, either.

  • TonyN

    Zach, why are you so bitter? When Stan says that we don’t get enough respect, it is more about Cleveland than Boston. Most Magic fans could live with a healthy Boston being ahead of us, but not the Cavs. Our team destroyed them in the playoffs, they have not addressed their pick and roll defense, and our team dynamic has not changed. If anything, Boston should be upset too that the Cavs are favorites to go to the finals.
    But anyways, thanks for the article. It’s about time the Magic got a little….respect, you made my day!

    By the way, is there any real news on KG’s knee? That was a sincere question, our fate may depend on it as well.

  • Ben

    When your player/coach does it, it’s annoying and pathetic. When my player/coach does it, it’s motivational. If Stan coached for Boston, Orlando fans would’ve written a blog like this one, and Celtics fans would be desperately defending his comments. All we’ve established here is that Stan has an opinion and that there’s little to talk about in August.

    So he was asked if he thought his team was sufficiently respected, and he said no. Who the hell cares?

  • Bawstan Sucks

    Even after KG was injured last season, almost every “expert”, and I use that term loosely, stated that BOS was the favorite until somebody beat them. Now many of those same “experts” are saying that ORL will have a tough time repeating as EC Champs due to the additions of The Big ThermaCare & Captain Technical???
    Come on. ORL has their All-star PG returning, added an 8time all-star, and either upgraded their bench or retained bench strength at every position.

    A roster like ORL’s (one of the very few NBA rosters in NBA history featuring 4 all-stars in the starting lineup) coming off a Finals run, deserves every ounce of respect that any “expert” can muster. Frankly, saying anything other than what was attributed to the aging, benchless Celts last year is disrespectful. We are the favs hands down until somebody beats us.

  • Jonathan

    At least Stan hasn’t yet traded for Quentin Richardson, or then again- has he!? Talk about no respect, he just got dealt again for Mark Blount… OUCH!! That has got to be a blow to the ego of a one-time highly effective player in this league! I think Stan could always sell Cadillacs if he can’t get respect as a NBA coach. ;^))

  • Jonathan

    BTW Mr. Really? Which Boston sports person whined about not getting respect? I have been thinking about you post for 10 minutes and I can’t think of a single instance.

  • Calloway

    First off, SVG’s quote is being taken out of context. This Lowe guys is making it seem as if Stan was on a rant, about how disrespected the Orlando Magic is. If you were to watch the whole interview, you would see SVG was answering a question on how players may use lack of respect as a personally motivation tactic. Yes, he did make the X-mas day comment, but was he wrong. He statement was correct.

    Secondly, Orlando is disrespected by the media, maybe not so much the fans. ESPN loves Boston, but loves Cavs and Lakers more. The fact the Orlando Magic has revamped the team, definitely improving it’s roster, but everyone is brushing them off once is again, makes my point. Ninety percent of the analyst, are saying we don’t have the mismatch advantage anymore thus were not better the Boston or Cleveland. That’s BS.
    I really like Turk and what he brought to the game, but essentially what the world is saying our previous success about based on 4 inches. 4 INCHES. I’ll take Vince Carter over Turk any day. Turk is a good player, but Vince and do what Turk did and more.

    How can the Orlando Magic not be disrespected when the nation basically says the we only won because of our “height mismatch at the forward position.” Get real.
    Last time I checked Orlando Magic had the best defensive team last year in the regular season.


  • rob

    Man celtics nation you have alot of hostility towards us, how about you, celtic fans stop trashing the team that ended your little 32-0 streak i’m sorry we interrupted the cleveland, la, boston blow job festival

  • Zach Lowes a failure

    How can a journalist who writes “like when Austin Powers makes a half-dozen “head” puns after a shark bites off an evil henchman’s noggin” ever think their opinion will be respected. What a joke

  • Drew G

    You Celtics fans are really having a hard time coping with the fact that my Magic took you out in game 7, aren’t you? SVG is absolutely right; the Magic don’t get the respect they deserve as Eastern Conference champs.


    Mr really looks to be talking about my post. I stiil stand by it. Healthy Garnett equals 2009 boston championship.

    I do respect Dwight. When he learns to plow staright thru the middle ala shaq he will be even more dominant. Too big to play finess hook shot style of basketball until he develops a better mid range shot. Then he will truly be a monster.

  • ONe and Done???

    To the goof that made the comment about the C’s being a one and done team? Come to our Garden and count our CHAMPIONSHIP BANNERS then go back to Orlando and count ………what? Oranges? Rather be a one and done than a NONE AND DONE!

  • maw

    It's true though, nobody respects this team. Not with a name like that.

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