Jeff Van Gundy Fined…Again
JVG, a man not known for holding his tongue at the best of times, has been firing verbal darts at the officials all season in the hopes of some attention. Well, the powers that be took notice today, announcing that Jeff Van Gundy has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of the officials. The only surprise here is that the league didn’t pull the trigger on this a little earlier. Let’s see what the Thought Police have to say.
"In general, coaches are not permitted to comment on officiating publicly," said Stu Jackson, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations. "We prefer if they have an issue with officiating they contact us, and we’ll be happy to discuss it with them. In our evaluation, this crossed the line. Any time coaches reference the officials publicly, they run that risk, and the coaches are well aware of that."
Right. So, let me get this straight: Reasoned objections from Van Grumpy are worth twenty-five large, but threats of violence by Isiah Thomas result in the NBA taking action? I’ll run the comments alongside one another, and you can decide which one appears the more finable.
"They so regulate contact right now, the only thing I think is sometimes reckless is what is going on inside, like a swing at the head of Yao the last game," Van Gundy said. "Antoine Walker tries to push him down. Not only is there not a call, it should have been a flagrant foul."
”Next time he does that, break his fucking foot…I’d beat the shit out of somebody.”
Somehow, the bipolar bastards at the league office felt, following five days of deliberation, that Jeffrey Combover was the one who should take a shot to the pockets. Freaky Zekey, on the other hand, was obliged by Stu Jackson (or “S-Jax” as his girls know him) when he made a phone call to Bruce Bowen letting him know that his step-and-slide technique was verboten.
So, why the inconsistent treatment? To answer that, I’m going to have to take you back to Jeff’s last run-in with the authorities.
Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, already fined a record $100,000 by the NBA, could be banned from the league if he continues to publicly criticize officials, commissioner David Stern said.
"If he’s going to say things like that, he’s not going to continue in this league," Stern told reporters in Houston.
Stern called the fine "an intermediary step" and said an investigation would continue once the playoffs were over for Houston.
"If the attitude reflected in those comments continues to be public, he’s going to have a big problem with me as long as I’m commissioner," Stern said.
Translation: “Respect my gangsta.” Davepoleon Bonaparte’s built up his empire with years of hard work, and he’s not about to have some big-mouth, Sam The Eagle-looking S.O.B. sass him without repercussion. This most recent round of fines, then, is merely confirmation that the house always wins, particularly when you try to challenge them on such touchy issues as officiating.
Free speech, it appears, is not protected by the league’s constitution. I’m just waiting for the day that I receive a visit from two baseball bat-wielding goons telling me that “Davido Sterneone sends his regards.” If you ever see me writing a column for NBA.com, you’ll know they got me.