The Detroit Pistons have lost the first two games of their first round Playoff series agianst the Cleveland Cavaliers, and head coach Stan Van Gundy doesn’t want to give LeBron James any more reasons to increase the torture he’s inflicting on his team.
SVG had a chat Thursday with rookie Stanley Johnson about his one-sided beef with the four-time MVP.
Van Gundy says Johnson’s comments about LeBron and the Cavs made him cringe.
“I had a talk with Stan today,” Van Gundy told reporters at the team’s practice facility adjacent to The Palace. “So I’ll leave it at that. I told him what I thought about his comments and everything. So that’s a discussion that we had today.” […] After essentially framing his expected minutes matched up against James as a personal clash — “It’s on,” the rookie had said — Johnson followed up some on-court schooling from the Cavaliers MVP by boasting “I’m definitely in his head. That’s for sure.”
“Well look, you do [cringe at Johnson’s comments] a little bit,” Van Gundy said. “But you have to realize he’s a 19-year-old kid going through this for the first time. You get him right after a game like that, he’s frustrated …. We met, we talked. He knows how I feel, what my concerns are. But it wasn’t an anger session. It wasn’t a ‘You’re an [expletive]’ type of thing. It wasn’t. It’s just another learning experience for a 19-year-old kid.”
Any fear that James — also cranky Wednesday after taking an elbow into the ribs that wasn’t called a foul — or the Cavs subs will use it to fan their flames for Games 3 and 4 this weekend at The Palace? Van Gundy shook that one off. […] “Look, y’know, LeBron understands that it’s about the game,” the coach said. “I don’t think a guy like him needs much more motivation. They’re talking about trying to win a championship. That’s a lot more motivating than something a rookie might have said.”