I do not regularly follow the Orlando Magic of the NBA as I am a Sixers fan, although I will cheer for them now that they have eliminated our guys from Philly. I do like some of the Magic players, most notably our own SJU grad Jameer Nelson. I care even less about their head coach, a chap named Stan Van Gundy.
Why then do I mention Coach Van Gundy in this blog? Because of an incident that occurred with the press before Game 6 of their recent first round playoff series victory over the Sixers. Before that game, the Magic's star center Dwight Howard was hit with a one game suspension because of an incident he was involved in during Orlando's Game 5 win over the Sixers.
When asked about how the Magic would deal with Howard's loss, a reporter asked Van Gundy if the team would have to develop a bunker mentality in order to survive Game 6 without Howard. At that point, the coach reacted angrily and stated in no uncertain terms that he did not believe in analogies between sport and war, and would no longer address any such questions on the topic.
Van Gundy then emphatically explained and I paraphrase, that it was insulting to the the real heroes of the day, the men and women of the US Military who face actual life and death situations everyday, to compare what they face to a sporting event. He went on to state that pro sports are a game and not life and death. Bravo, coach Van Gundy. Thank you for adding something necessary to the self - infatuated, narcissistic world of pro sports, a little perspective.
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