Stan Van Gundy said on Wednesday that Phil Jackson had no idea about the circumstances behind Van Gundy’s decision to step down as head coach of the Miami Heat early in the 2005-06 season and went so far as to say that it was “inappropriate” and “ignorant” of Jackson to comment about situations involving other coaches.
Van Gundy’s comments were in response to when Phil Jackson told a Chicago radio station that if the Miami Heat don’t start winning more games soon, Heat President Pat Riley would most likely take over for Erik Spoelstra as the Heat’s head coach.
Jackson told the radio station that such a scenario would be like “the Van Gundy thing all over again.”
Van Gundy’s reaction was light-hearted initially but proceeded to go in on the Zen master.
“Well, first of all, obviously, Phil has no idea what the ‘Van Gundy situation’ was, because even though he coaches in our league, he certainly had no inside knowledge of that,” Van Gundy responded. “So, an analogy he would make to my situation would be totally useless, because he doesn’t have any clue what the situation was in that case.
He continued; “I sort of laugh at all this ‘turn it around’ stuff,” Van Gundy said, referring to speculation about Spoelstra’s job status. “I looked today and they [the Heat] have the fourth-best offense in the league and the fourth-best defense in the league in points per possession. They’re third in point differential. They’ve had some tough losses. The only game that anybody’s really beaten them in where it was pretty decisive was the other night against Indiana. I mean, it happens. It’s all sort of funny 14 games into the year.
Van Gundy wrapped up his rant directing comments at Phil Jackson;
“First of all, to second-guess the other coach and comment on a situation he knows nothing about, it’s inappropriate and it’s also ignorant,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t mean that commenting on Phil’s intelligence. He’s obviously a very smart guy. I mean it as ignorant. He doesn’t know what that situation was and he doesn’t know what the situation in Miami is now.
“I don’t think that, unless their relationship’s changed drastically, that he and Pat talk on a regular basis. So, I would doubt that he would have any information whatsoever on what’s going on in Miami.”