Erik Spoelstra, Stan Van Gundy React to Phil Jackson's Miami Heat Comments
"To second guess another coach and comment on a situation he (Jackson) knows nothing about, it's inappropriate, but it's also ignorant,'' Van Gundy said after a morning practice. "That's not a comment on Phil's intelligence -- he's obviously a smart guy -- I mean it as 'ignorant.'''
Van Gundy was disappointed the way Jackson was speculating about a coaching change in Miami, but he was more upset that he brought up the situation that happened in Miami five seasons ago. That was when Van Gundy was replaced early in the season by Heat president Pat Riley, and the team went on to win the 2006 NBA title.
"That's kind of my take on it, is that eventually if things don't straighten out there (Miami) soon, it could be the (Stan) Van Gundy thing all over again,'' Jackson said during a radio interview Tuesday.
The Heat -- with the Three Kings and the runaway expectations -- are playing in Orlando Wednesday night, needing a good showing to slow all the criticism that is being heaped upon them.
"Phil has no idea what the 'Van Gundy situation,' was (in 2005). Even though he coaches in the league, he had no inside knowledge of that. So his analysis would be totally useless because he doesn't have a clue,'' Van Gundy said. "He didn't know what that situation was (then), and he doesn't know what the situation is now in Miami. Unless their relationship (Jackson and Pat Riley) has changed dramatically, I don't know if he and Pat talk on a regular basis, so he doesn't have any information at all on what's going on.''
Van Gundy left the Heat after 21 games that season when they struggled early. The speculation was that Riley pushed him out at the urging of center Shaquille O'Neal. Van Gundy always contended that he walked away voluntarily because of family concerns.
Spoelstra, preparing for Wednesday night's game, laughed off the Jackson comments after their early practice.
"I just heard about them on the bus. My coaching staff was giving me some good grief about it. They got a good chuckle about it,'' Spoelstra said. "Everybody has something to say about us. I can't expect I would be excluded from that. I'm sure people other than him are probably saying some stuff about me.''
Criticism of Spoelstra and the Heat (8-6) has intensified after back-to-back losses to Memphis and Indiana. They were booed by the home fans after the second loss, their worst of the season.
Heat star Dwyane Wade said Wednesday he had heard Jackson's critique but did not seem bothered by it. Jackson, 65, has won 11 NBA titles.
"It's unfortunate,'' Wade said. "Coach Jackson has earned the right to say what he wants. And he continues to exercise that right.''