Phil Jackson sure knows how to rub Stan Van Gundy the wrong way.
Jackson appeared on ESPN Radio’s “Waddle & Silvy Show” yesterday and predicted that if the Miami Heat continue to struggle this season, Pat Riley will take over as coach and do a better job than Erik Spoelstra. Which, of course, would be deja vu for Van Gundy, who left the Heat during the ’05-06 season in which Riley led Dwyane Wade and crew to a championship.
“If things don’t straighten out here soon, it could be the Van Gundy thing all over again,” Jackson said.
Irked by the comments, Van Gundy didn’t wait long to respond.
“Phil has no idea what ‘The Van Gundy situation’ was, because even though he coaches in our league, he certainly had no insight or knowledge of that,” Van Gundy said earlier today. “So an analogy he’d make to my situation would be totally useless because he doesn’t have any clue what the situation was in that case.
“To second-guess another coach and comment on a situation he knows nothing about — it’s inappropriate,” Van Gundy added. “And it’s also ignorant.”
Van Gundy’s Orlando Magic play the Heat tonight. I wonder if Stan will feel compelled to give Spoelstra some helpful tips on how to avoid the supposed “Van Gundy Situation.”