Garden world's greatest? Not to Stan Van
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"I've never understood the whole hype with Madison Square Garden," Van Gundy told Orlando reporters after practice on Tuesday in New York.
Van Gundy recognized the Knicks as "a very good team with very good players, and so that's something that gets your juices flowing, because it's Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire."
But, he added, "Madison Square Garden to me? It's not one of the nicer places in the league. It has some history, but no more so than some others. Look, their last championship was in the '70s."
Perhaps Stan's perspective is skewed by the fact that he has most often been the enemy in this building over his coaching career.
Van Gundy was born in California but grew up in Western New York, where his father, Bill, coached at SUNY-Brockport. Jeff (Knicks) and Stan (Heat) were rival assistant coaches in the mid-1990s. There were times they literally were not on speaking terms after Jeff took over as coach of the Knicks on March 8, 1996.
Both brothers have been known to be outspoken and have had their respective run-ins with NBA commissioner David Stern. Stan most recently was rebuked by Stern after the Magic coach compared him to a tyrant and said the commissioner doesn't allow freedom of speech. Stern was so angered, he went directly to Magic ownership to muzzle its coach.
Turiaf starts again
Ronny Turiaf got the start at center for a second straight game as Mike D'Antoni is trying to stop the revolving door at that position (Turiaf, Jared Jeffries, Shelden Williams and Amar'e Stoudemire). Turiaf, who has played in 57 of 71 games this season, has dealt with a lot of pain in his balky left knee but recently was fitted with new orthotics that are designed to help alleviate the pain.