Either Stan Van Gundy has a heightened sense of entitlement now that he’s led a team to the NBA Finals, or he’s looking for new ways to motivate a squad that’s in danger of a Finals hangover.
While the Magic were introducing White Chocolate in a press conference yesterday, SVG talked about his team being disrespected by the national media, particularly with the TV schedule. From the Orlando Sentinel:
“For a team that went to the Finals, we really haven’t gotten the respect teams normally do,” Van Gundy said. “Based upon what we did last year, I think our players do feel a little underappreciated and under respected.”
Van Gundy pointed to a perceived slight by ABC, which usually puts the two Finals teams from the year before in the prime 3 p.m. slot on Christmas day. This year, it’ll be the Los Angeles and Cleveland in the prime slot while the Magic play the Celtics in the prelim game.
“It’s 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 (ABC) wanted to see in the Finals.”
Um, yeah. I kind of see where Van Gundy is coming from, and I’ll just have to trust his claim that ABC always shows a Finals rematch, but he has to understand the business of sports entertainment: Kobe vs. LeBron and Shaq will beat out Kobe vs. Anyone Else (including the Magic) 10 times out of 10. And it’s not like the Magic don’t have a game at all on Christmas.
Do you think Orlando has a legit beef here?