Stan Van Gundy Mocks NBA for Dominating Christmas Day
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was fined by the league last season for remarks critical of the NBA, and the way it makes Christmas Day games such a priority.
This time, he came up with his own plan for an around-the-clock NBA saturation on Christmas Day. And it was dripping with sarcasm.
"I think the NBA is so important to Christmas that what we really need to do is increase from five games to 10,'' Van Gundy said Saturday afternoon before his Magic tipped off against the Celtics. "And we need to start them at midnight on Christmas Eve and play 'em all through the day so there's not a minute of Christmas Day where there's not a game on TV. The NBA is Christmas.''
The Magic are playing on Christmas for the third consecutive year and the eighth time in franchise history. Van Gundy, who has four young children still at home, has been especially critical of the league in the past for playing on so many holidays.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers, when told about Van Gundy's remarks, immediately jumped on board, endorsing the plan. His tone wasn't so clear.
"We're close anyway. How many games are there now? Six? OK, five,'' Rivers said, also before the game. "We're on the way. I think it's a great idea by Stan. Tell him I'm on board with it. I want the midnight game. They did 24 hours of college ball earlier this year. I want the midnight game. That would be phenomenal. I'm up anyway.''
The Celtics played the Magic in Orlando last season. The organization allowed players to bring entire families on the trip. Many of the players rented houses for the weekend. The Celtics actually arrived in Orlando early Thursday. Rivers, despite reports to the contrary, is against playing on Christmas Day. He spends the time with his family at his home in nearby Winter Park.
"It's not Christmas at home, but it's Christmas as good as you can get,'' Rivers said.