LeBron James To Stan Van Gundy: ‘This Isn’t Personal’
LeBron James has responded to Stan Van Gundy’s claims that the Cleveland Cavaliers forward gets far too many “superstar calls” and that it’s important for his team to play through those calls.Advertisement
James and Van Gundy have a history dating back to the 2009 Eastern Conference finals when the Orlando Magic defeated the Cavaliers 4-2 to advance to the NBA Finals. On Tuesday, James said that his focus was to prepare his teammates for the rest of the series and not get caught up in a verbal duel with Van Gundy, stemming from personal differences between the two.
“Stan has gotten the better of me in a playoff series before in his Orlando days,” James said after an intense scrimmage on Tuesday.
“But it’s not about me versus Stan. It’s about his teams versus the teams that I’ve been on and I’m not having an individual matchup with Stan or an individual matchup with Stanley (Johnson) or any other Stan they can possess,” James said when asked to respond to Van Gundy holding the referees accountable for Detroit’s Game 1 loss.
LeBron James to teammates: ‘Keep focus’
James cautioned his teammates to stay focused on the task at hand rather than read the newspapers. “It’s about getting my guys ready. That’s all that matters,” said the four-time MVP, who is trying to bring Cleveland its first major sports championship in over 50 years. According to Las Vegas oddsmakers, the Cavs are resounding favorites to reach a second consecutive Finals in June.
Van Gundy was fined $25,000 by the league Monday for slamming the referees during an in-game interview on Sunday. At the end of the first quarter of Game 1, Van Gundy let out his frustration in a rant to ESPN’s Lisa Salters.
“A couple calls have upset our guys. They’ve (my players) got to understand, LeBron’s LeBron. They’re not going to call offensive fouls on him. He gets to do whatever he wants. They’ve got to understand that.”
Surprisingly, Van Gundy backtracked on those comments at the end of the game. However, his first quarter outburst was enough to warrant a fine. Or did it? LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will host Pistons for Game 2 on Wednesday.