Sunday, September 12th, 2010 at 7:25 am  |  33 responses

Magic, Heat Rivalry Intensifies

by Lang Whitaker | @langwhitaker

The best way to inflame a rivalry? Have Stan Van Gundy and Pat Riley involved.

After the Miami Heat signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith were each publicly critical of the move — Smith said, “I thought [LeBron] was, I guess, more of a competitor,” and Van Gundy referred to Bosh as Wade’s “lapdog.”

In a conference call on Friday, Riley responded, calling Smith’s comments “absolutely stupid. He never made any kind of comment like that when he signed Rashard Lewis and he brought him down from Seattle with a $128 million contract.”

Of Van Gundy, Riley said, “Stan’s out there making comments about Chris Bosh being a lapdog to Dwyane Wade or something like that. I don’t know what happened to some of these guys along the way.”

Riley also took aim at the collective of former players who were critical of LeBron signing with Miami, a group that included everyone from Michael Jordan to Charles Barkley, who called the Heat’s post-signing introductory celebration “a punk move.”

“I take a little bit of umbrage to some of the things that came from people in our game that all of a sudden have become the moral conscience or moral authority on the decisions that every team or some individual might make concerning his life or his career,” said Riley.

On Saturday, Stan Van Gundy responded. Many of his comments, as reported here by NBA.com, were addressed directly to Riley, Van Gundy’s former boss.

“Whether it’s appropriate to do it or not (to pass judgments) is another issue, but if it’s OK for Pat to do it he shouldn’t be judging other people,’’ said Van Gundy said. “Pat was upset that he and his guys have gotten some criticism and he’s sensitive and the funniest part of the whole thing is him saying he doesn’t worry about what people say. My question is then, ‘Why did you go and call your own press conference?’

“Pat getting onto people for making moral judgments made me laugh. I was with Pat when we had all of those Knicks series and he had no problem making moral judgments on my brother. What I read into that was that I guess Pat is the only one allowed to make those moral judgments and the rest of us can’t do that. I guess we didn’t realize that Pat’s the only one allowed to do that.’’

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  • Joe

    Can the season just start already?

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos


  • http://www.shawnkemp.com Masr


  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    To me, the actually rivalry doesn’t start until the players get to the court and prove that the games are close, that players are throwing elbows and there are hard feelings involved. This is just execs and coaches rabble-rousing. It doesn’t start until the players get involved.

  • Zabba

    Grow up you buncha old farts.

  • http://www.shawnkemp.com Masr

    Cosign moose. Settle the rivalry on the court, not in the front office.

  • underdog

    Lewis’ contract gets funnier year by year.

  • Ronald

    This is good for the NBA. Hype the games and make rivalries out of nothing.

  • Love4Humanity

    This isn’t a rivalry. D-Wade, LeBron and Dwight are good friends. Won’t be any elbows thrown. This isn’t the 90s.

  • Blackphantom

    This’d be so much more of a thing to look forward to if Dwight didn’t like Lebron & Wade. P***y. lol just kidding. It’s not like he HAS to hate them.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @Zabba, couldn’t have phrased it any better, old, fat farts….If Dwight isn’t as whipped as it appears they have he’ll be looking for an out of Orlando after next season

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    Don’t call it a rivalry.

  • JTaylor21

    Both guys are right about everything. Pat is right about people complaining about other people’s life and decisions and Ron Jeremy’s right about the Dapper Don. Also what are people talking about, you don’t have be enemies and hate each other guts for it be a rivalry, Magic and Zeke were friends off court but rivals on.

  • orl.chris

    @underdog – as a magic fan, no, there is nothing funny at all about that damn contract :\

  • The Philosopher

    Otis Smith lost some credibility.
    Everyone is jealous of The King.

  • k

    But it’s ridiculous to compare Rashard Lewis signing with Orlando to Bosh and LeBron signing with Miami. I just think when the Heat get eliminated from the playoffs, whether that’s in the Finals or before, the reaction from the rest of the country is going to be a lot like it was when the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. I was in Pittsburgh that night, and honestly, to hear what the bar sounded like you’d have thought the Steelers had won it. This is what the Heat are going to represent, except instead of being for one season it’s going to be for the next 6 years.

  • KING

    @orl.chris rashard lewis’ contract is hilarious because he is the highest paid player on the team and he is the most under-performing player on that team

  • http://dfjklf.com Jukai

    K: I was in Queens, New York. Think about how THAT sounded.

  • Frustrated206HoopFan

    at magic haters: make up your minds, is it rashard or vince that is the most under-performing? or just pure hate because the best player on the team smiles?

  • LD

    Does this mean that we get to see a few extra games this season where both teams are trying hard? Yippe! I’m such a lucky boy!

  • Feez22

    Van gundy is right on pat and was right about bosh following Wade around. However in terms of the legends I really only thought guys like MJ, Oscar Robertson and Clyde drexler were right. Magic and Charles are not. Magic would have backed out of the NBA draft if he wasn’t drafted to the Kareem lakers. He pretty much picked his fate so judging others for doing the same is hypocritical not to mention that he played with 2 other top 30 NBA players of all time. Charles is just a straight hypocrite I think everyone knows his story. He left Philly for phx bad mouthing Philly in the process and then left phx for Houston to team with Hakeem and pippen. When he called lebrons offseason a cumulation of punk moves I laughed the most. Charles is a punk by nature. Spitting on little girls, throwing guys in bars, getting bjs from prostitutes while having a wife… That’s punk for ya.

  • Feez22

    In terms of rashard contract… He was just overpaid that’s all. Severely overpaid. However there is no way u can compare his situation to lebrons. Rashard left Seattle to go to orl who weren’t championship caliber. Lebron took less money to play with 2 perennial all stars to automatically become a powerhouse. Totally different.

  • ktokyo

    haha. these guys sound like a bunch of women bickering.

  • http://www.manutd.com t-money

    there’s a big difference between what mj, magic and bird said and what barkley (and stan said). the first 3 just answered the question when they were asked if they would have done that or not (regardless of the veracity of their answers). chuck called bron a punk and stan called chris bosh a lapdog those were personal attacks. otis, on the other hand, can be seen as somewhat of a hypocrite because he definitely would have tried to get lebron if orlando was on the radar.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Yep, my suspicions are confirmed. T-Money is definitely Z. You didn’t think I’d remember that Man United link, did you?! =)

  • http://dfjklf.com Jukai

    Feez22: Clyde Drexler forced his way to Houston for a chip… just sayin’…

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Stan Van Gundy won. BOOK IT!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    I need Shaq’s comments about this situation pronto.

  • http://slamonline.com nikehead23

    goddammit !! the season needs to start already!!!!

  • http://www.dontevenreply.com total scrotal implosion

    Co sign anton.and ted dong is a dick, as in detective. I remember when tmoney stated hes many names on here. Dongster appparently found one

  • mike

    coach fight!!!!!!!!!!!yi yi then dwight will jump in then bron will jump in owwww mama

  • Love4Humanity

    They don’t have to hate each other. But just watch them play. They aren’t really competitive against each other. Nowhere near to how it used to be. The only one who wants to beat everybody is Kobe, KG, Pierce and Allen. The stars who are still left from the late 90s. These 2K stars are more concerned with promotion and then winning. Except Durant and Rose.

  • The Philosopher

    Shout out to Arturas Karnisovas.