Stan Van Gundy is joining the NBA coaches’ offensive against LaVar Ball.
The Detroit Pistons coach threatened Monday to deny ESPN extra access to him for an upcoming game due to the network’s reporting of Ball’s criticism on Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton. ESPN’s coverage of Ball vs. Walton disgusts Van Gundy, who vows to protest the sports media giant Jan. 19 before and during the Pistons’ game against the Washington Wizards.
“I thought it was a cheap shot and I thought ESPN showed total disrespect,” Van Gundy said, per The Detroit Free-Press’ Vince Ellis. “I don’t have a problem with LaVar Ball. He’s a grown man. He can voice whatever opinion he wants. I got a problem with ESPN deciding that’s a story.”
“I’m not meeting with their announcing crew before the game, I’m not doing the in-game interview,” Van Gundy said. “I’m not going to participate in the thing.”
Ball, whose son Lonzo is a rookie point guard with the Lakers, claimed Saturday to ESPN that Walton “has lost the locker room.”
ESPN’s reporting drew a stinging rebuke Monday from Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle — who also is president of the NBA Coaches Association — and a lighter-hearted verbal jab from Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
NBA writer Sam Amico even reported Sunday several NBA head coaches plan to ask team media relations staffs to deny credentials to reporters who interview LaVar Ball.
Van Gundy’s vow suggests the united NBA coaches’ front means business.
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