Van Gundy Against Christmas Day Games
The NBA has five games scheduled for today.
"I would rather not play on Christmas,'' Van Gundy said. "This is a day to spend with your family. The league has been good to all of us in terms of what we get (big money) out of these TV games, so it would sound a little disingenuous to complain too much. But if I had my way, we'd take a five-day Christmas break.''
Van Gundy and his wife have four school-age children, and he didn't hide the fact he would have rather been at home with his family.
The Magic played in Atlanta on Thanksgiving. They were in the midst of a road trip and away at Halloween. They are playing in Minnesota on New Year's Day. Last season they played at home on Christmas Day against New Orleans.
"I think we get a little carried away with ourselves with sports thinking we're more important than everything else,'' Van Gundy said. "But that's the way it is. 'There's nothing more important than the NBA on Christmas Day.'''
Although some of his players -- most notably center Dwight Howard --said they relish playing on the national stage that Christmas Day television provides, Van Gundy wouldn't budge on his beliefs.
He said he would not be watching any of the other four games being played Friday. He did say he used to watch the Knicks and the Rockets play when his brother Jeff was coaching those teams.
"I won't watch one second of the other four games. I have no interest. That's not great advertisement for the league, but I actually feel sorry for people who have nothing to do on Christmas Day other than watch an NBA game,'' he said. "If there's a holiday, we're playing. That's just the way it is.''