Van Gundy narrows ESPN ‘boycott’ to website
Auburn Hills — Stan Van Gundy can put away the picket signs and posters.
He won’t be boycotting — at least for now.
Van Gundy on Thursday changed course on his stance about ESPN from comments he made two weeks ago, when he expressed anger at an ESPN for a story aired about LaVar Ball criticizing Lakers coach Luke Walton.
At the time, Van Gundy contacted Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, the president of the NBA coaches association, to voice his displeasure. Van Gundy also hinted that in protest of the treatment ESPN gave to coaches, he wouldn’t participate in all the “extras” that ESPN requests for nationally televised games.
He made an about-face on Thursday, ahead of Friday’s game on ESPN against the Washington Wizards.
“I got an email from Rick Carlisle of the coaches association and they want me to cooperate, so my whole idea was to boycott the thing in support of coaches,” Van Gundy said. “If the coaches don’t want that, then it would be a selfish thing, sort of a grandstanding thing.”
In national broadcasts, ESPN generally requests coaches to wear microphones to enhance the production and other pregame and in-game interviews. Van Gundy said he’ll cooperate with the television requests but separated the website as another entity, which will bear the brunt of his vitriol.
“I’m certainly not looking to do extra stuff with ESPN.com when those guys call and want to do things,” Van Gundy said. “They want to put themselves out there as a journalistic enterprise — they’re clearly not. They don’t have any journalistic standards. I have no obligation to do anything extra.”
Pistons vs. Wizards
Tip-off: 8 Friday, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit
TV/radio: FSD, ESPN/WXYT
Outlook: The Pistons (22-21) are trying to trying to end their three-game skid and beat the Wizards for the first time this season.