NBA: LeBron brushes off Van Gundy ‘shenanigans’
LOS ANGELES, United States — LeBron James played down talk of a feud with Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy on Tuesday as the Cleveland Cavaliers targeted a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series.
Van Gundy was fined by the NBA on Monday for criticizing the officiating during Detroit’s defeat to Cleveland in game one, suggesting officials were reluctant to give fouls against Cavs star James.
However James brushed off suggestions that Van Gundy’s comments may prompt him to change his style heading into game two on Wednesday.
“I would never change my game no matter what a player or coach says,” James told reporters after a practice on Tuesday.
“My main thing is however I can help my team get a win, how I can go out and put an imprint on the game and play as hard as I can. I’ll live with the results of that.
“Stan has gotten the better of me in a playoff series before in his Orlando days. 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.
“It’s about getting my guys ready. That’s all that matters.”
Van Gundy scored a postseason victory over James and the Cavaliers in 2009 when he was in charge of the Orlando Magic.
The Detroit coach sparked uproar during Sunday’s 106-101 defeat when he told an ESPN reporter that James received special treatment from referees.
“LeBron’s LeBron. They’re not going to call offensive fouls on him. He gets to do whatever he wants,” said Van Gundy, who was subsequently fined $25,000 (22,000 euros) by the league for the remarks.
James however was adamant that the controversy would not prove to be a distraction.
“Listen, I’m 31-years old. I don’t get caught up in no shenanigans,” he said.