Stan Van Gundy on the Heat and LeBron

June, 21, 2011
6/21/11
1:30
PM ET
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy joined the Dan Le Batard show on Monday. Although Van Gundy has fired a couple of salvos in the Heat's direction this past season, he has been more critical of the media's intensive coverage of the team.

Van Gundy confessed he was surprised the Heat lost the Finals and had them winning quite easily in five or six games. He also said that he has trouble being sympathetic toward those, like LeBron James and the Heat, whose performances fall short of expectations. After all, it's sports. And, besides, the Heat brought the criticism and scrutiny on themselves:
Look I’m not the most empathetic person in the world anyway, but look first of all it’s sports. The thing that would make me feel bad for somebody was some personal issue. I’m not going to feel bad that you are struggling on a basketball court because you only get to within two wins of a championship. Come on there was nothing to feel sorry for. I got a little tired I’ll admit of the whole everybody hates us routine. I thought first of all it’s not true. Okay it’s the same as the Yankees type of thing. There’s just a lot of people interested, so there may be more people who dislike you. There are also more people that like you. There’s a great deal of interest. Second of all they brought it on … LeBron more than anybody. They brought all that scrutiny and attention on yourself. You went out seeking it then don’t cry in the face of it. That to me got to be a very tiresome story line.

Van Gundy also isn't publicly buying that James shrunk from the moment:
First of all no I really haven’t [coached players scared in big moments]. I think people bring that up usually anecdotally. They’ll think of one time or two times. Look even this year we saw LeBron James have great 4th quarters in the Boston series and the Chicago series. I certainly experienced it first hand when we played them back in the Eastern Conference Finals. He was tremendous against us. He had one huge shot that really probably kept the series from being a sweep. No I don’t buy it at all. I certainly don’t think there is any fear there. Now you can go back and criticize his play in the 4th quarters. I think that’s fair, but I don’t think it’s because he’s afraid of the moment or anything like that. He’s had too many good moments in those times for me to believe that.

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