Stan Van Gundy didn't play the game. He didn't take the bait.
|Stan Van Gundy|
Van Gundy threw the ball back instead of take the easy swing.
|Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic|
That was Van Gundy's cue to tear apart Howard like a leopard into a gazelle. Instead, he practically laughed in Mike and Mike's combined faces.
"Come on, that one's not close," You could put that question to 30 general managers in the league -- and give them the choice -- and Indiana, out of loyalty, might take Hibbert although I would doubt it. The other 29 would not even hesitate. Everybody's taking Dwight."
Van Gundy's reaction is being treated as a surprise, and because its antithetical to conventional wisdom, its being downplayed in the mainstream sports press. Anyone you talk to in the sports media will tell you that Howard got Van Gundy fired from his head coaching job with the Orlando Magic at the end of last season.
This isn't the first time Van Gundy has supported Howard. Last March, when the media whipped up a fake, tornado sized controversy about comments Howard made about his time in Orlando, Van Gundy stepped in to defend his old charge.
"He did not, in my opinion, mean to say 'I didn't play with good players in Orlando,' The question was about his demeanor. He's been criticized for his demeanor on the court. He was basically
|Van Gundy with Howard|
This episode also proves something else; there is no feud between Van Gundy and Howard and now you have to question if there ever was a feud.
Van Gundy did the right thing but its going to take a lot more Van Gundy type reactions in the future to knock the media off its payback, auto-pilot programing.