David Stern responds to Van Gundy

Updated: March 11, 2011, 10:24 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday that he won't speak to Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy personally about recent comments critical of him, but that he doesn't expect Van Gundy to make similar remarks in the future.

"I would render a guess ... that we won't be hearing from him for the rest of the season," Stern said Thursday on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio."

"When he stops and reads what he said and realizes what he did, he will say no more."

Asked by host Cowherd what he could do to Van Gundy, Stern said: "I have a feeling that some modicum of self-restraint will cause Stan and the team for which he works to rein in his aberrant behavior."

Van Gundy, defending Magic center Dwight Howard, who was suspended after getting his 16th technical of the season, said Monday that Howard gets no protection from the league's referees.

Van Gundy was asked if the Magic had a case with the league office about their feeling that Howard has been excessively fouled, and he responded that he doesn't think outside input is heard in the NBA offices.

"This is the system David Stern and his minions like," Van Gundy said. "So that's the system you have. ... I certainly can't have an opinion because David Stern, like a lot of leaders we've seen in this world lately, don't really tolerate other people's opinion or free speech or anything. So I'm not really allowed to have an opinion. So it's up to him.

"He decides and he likes the system he has."

Stern initially told Cowherd he would not respond to Van Gundy, but then said: "I'm going to engage in private discussions at this point with this franchise."

After that, asked if Van Gundy's comments bothered him personally, Stern said: "It didn't bother me personally. I see somebody whose team isn't performing, whose star player was suspended, who seems to be fraying ..."

Stern added: "... Whatever the pressures are that Stan is feeling, that he fell to whatever position he's in to say something like this, it made me sad."

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

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