ORLANDO, Fla. — NBA Commissioner David Stern says he doesn't plan to talk to Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy about critical remarks Van Gundy made about him — he will speak to Magic team executives about the comments.
Stern made his remarks Thursday during an interview on ESPN Radio in response to comments Van Gundy made earlier this week in defense of Magic center Dwight Howard.
"I'm going to engage in a private discussions at this point with his franchise," Stern said Thursday on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd." ''I actually am not going to talk to Stan Van Gundy. I'm going to talk to the ownership of the team."
Howard served a one-game suspension earlier this week after receiving his league-leading 16th technical foul.
Van Gundy responded to reporter's question about whether the Magic had addressed their concerns to NBA officials about the frequency Howard has been fouled this season. He took a shot directly at the league's top brass.
"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.
"He decides and he likes the system he has."
Stern, who fined Van Gundy $35,000 in January for critical comments about officiating, insinuated that he wouldn't find the coach for his latest remarks.
"Because he tried to make it so personal, I'm not going to do anything about it this time," Stern said. "...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 also added: "... Whatever the pressures are that Stan is feeling, that he fell to whatever position he's in to say something like this, it made me sad."
He said he doesn't expect similar comments from Van Gundy going forward.
"I would render a guess ... that we won't be hearing from him for the rest of the season," Stern said. "When he stops and reads what he said and realizes what he did, he will say no more."