The NBA sidelines are patrolled mainly by former NBA players, who, naturally, are in many cases tall, imposing men. Stan Van Gundy, the Detroit Pistons head coach, is not among them. With his paunch and mustache, he doesn’t necessarily project as some sort of badass. That is, unless you have seen that photo of Van Gundy taken at a bicycling event in Detroit, where he looks like a man you do not want to mess with.
People on the Internet went nuts for the photo, but, as Van Gundy explains to ESPN’s Zach Lowe in a recent interview, he doesn’t really get the hullabaloo.
It’s only a small part of the conversation, admittedly. Much more time is spent, say, discussing Andre Drummond’s free throw issues or the Tobias Harris trade. However, the photo had to come up at some point, because Zach Lowe knows what the people want.
Asked if he was aware of how the photo blew up, Van Gundy simply said, “Oh, yeah. I really didn’t understand why. That was Andre. He’s the one who sent that out into the world.” When told that the photo made him look like a badass, SVG remained modest, stating, “Yeah, well, then the photographer did a helluva job.”
Sure, the photo was well-taken, and a bit of luck was involved in terms of getting the lighting just right, but we all know the truth. Stan Van Gundy is a badass, but he wants to keep that on the down low. That way, he can operate under the radar, waiting for the right moment to strike.
That moment will probably come when Drummond finally learns to make even half of his free throws.