OAKLAND, Calif. – NBA Commissioner David Stern might have finally muzzled Magic coach Stan Van Gundy.
At least for now, anyway.
Van Gundy said Friday that he was told he can't comment anymore in the escalating rhetoric with Stern that included personal jabs from both sides. Asked who told him to refrain from more remarks, Van Gundy responded, "I've been told I can't comment."
The back-and-forth chatter began earlier this week when Van Gundy was defending Dwight Howard after the Magic's All-Star center picked up an automatic suspension for reaching 16 technical fouls.
"This is the system David Stern and his minions like," Van Gundy said. "So that's the system you have. ... I certainly can't have an opinion because David Stern, like a lot of leaders we've seen in this world lately, don't really tolerate other people's opinion or free speech or anything. So I'm not really allowed to have an opinion. So it's up to him."
Stern, who fined Van Gundy $35,000 in January for criticizing officials, shot back Thursday that he wouldn't fine Van Gundy again but would speak to Magic ownership to quiet its always opinionated coach.
"It didn't bother me personally. I see somebody whose team isn't performing, whose star player was suspended, who seems to be fraying." Stern said on ESPN Radio. "I would render a guess," Stern added, "that we won't be hearing from him for the rest of the season. When he stops and reads what he said and realizes what he did, he will say no more."