May 09, 2005
Van Gundy has beem punished enough, says Stern

The Rockets's season may be over, but at least they don't have to worry about their coach being on double secret probation any longer.

A week after NBA commissioner David Stern hit Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy with the largest fine ever assessed an NBA coach and threatened to suspend or even ban Van Gundy from coaching, the NBA today ended its investigation and withdrew its threat of further punishment.

No additional penalties beyond the $100,000 fine were levied.

Van Gundy had said May 1 that an official with the league had told him that Yao would be watched more closely when setting screens.

The league announced today that Van Gundy had confirmed that he was not tipped by a league referee. But Van Gundy said today that he purposely used the term "official" to protect the identity of the longtime friend who called him and stressed that he considered his comments accurate.

"I may have been purposely vague, but I made sure I was telling the truth," Van Gundy said. "The implication from the start, that I might have fabricated the call was disturbing and I'm glad the NBA confirmed that there were talks with league personnel."

NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik issued a statement on the league's decision to end its investigation:

"Over this past weekend, coach Van Gundy publicly apologized for his comments last week suggesting bias in the leagues refereeing relating to Yao Ming. He has also confirmed directly to an NBA representative that, during the Houston/Dallas playoff series, he did not have any communication with a referee (working or non-working) other than, of course, during an ongoing game. In fact, his only conversations with league employees during the series were with league personnel in the normal course. In light of these circumstances, we now consider the matter to be closed."

Fine by me. I think the whole thing got a little out of hand, and now that the Rockets are out of the playoffs it was time to put this in the Out box. All that's left is to wonder if Van Gundy or one of his many benefactors actually wound up paying the fine.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 09, 2005 to Other sports | TrackBack

Yao offered to pay half the fine...

Truth Serum Blog.

Posted by: truthserum on May 9, 2005 9:03 PM

I'm glad it's over

Posted by: jr on May 10, 2005 3:28 AM

Yes, a 40-point beatdown in Game 7 usually is enough punishment.

The only thing left for me to know is if those black bags under Van Gundy's eyes go away, even slightly, during the offseason.

Posted by: PDiddie on May 10, 2005 6:46 AM

The insinuation of a league-wide conspiracy couldn't be tolerated.

In the end, though, the dance went according to plan.

Stern fined.

Van Gundy hemmed and hawed.

Stern made it clear he was serious.

Van Gundy acted contrite.


Van Gundy gave the league what they wanted and backed down like a guy who would like to keep collecting his $5 million/year in the league.

Still, the league ought to be a little happy. It focused national attention on a regional first round series that turned out to be better than expected for six games.

Posted by: kevin whited on May 10, 2005 8:35 AM

Really, you think the leauge is better for this? I think Stern looked bad, Van Gundy became a cult Houston hero, and we all realized how out of touch this business is when someone is fined $100K for bumping his gums. The league isn't any better for having three horrible conference semi-finals and one redo of "the Motown Throw Down" with Detroit v. Indiana. Wake me up in two weeks when Miami plays D town and SA takes on the Suns.

Posted by: Red Dog on May 10, 2005 1:18 PM