HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Frictions isn’t always a bad thing.
Sometimes just the right amount of tension in the workplace brings out the best in everyone.
With Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy tinkering with his rotations, there was bound to be some healthy friction between the free-speaking coach and his players.
Ryan Anderson didn’t like being passed up in the rotation by Brandon Bass and Mickael Pietrus doesn’t like the way he’s being used, either, hence the shouting match and benching that occurred Wednesday night.
But with Van Gundy committed to tinkering, in anticipation of the playoffs, Magic players will have to live with whatever Van Gundy decides to do (as Stan Van explained to my main man Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel):
“It’s going to be a tough thing for a few of our guys. The good part is we have a flexibility to play different situations, but to do that, somebody has to pay every night. I guess, as we go along, we’ll see who can handle it and produce. I don’t mind if they are pissed off with me, but I don’t want it translating to their teammates. I need them to stay together as a group.”
As B. Schmitz pointed out, this is the second straight year that Van Gundy’s rotation tinkering has caused friction. Last season Bass and J.J. Redick bristled at the way they were being used.
The fact is, players complain about the way they are used all the time. It’s as common as tattoos and baggy shorts in the NBA. The key is making sure that the friction helps the cause as opposed to hurting the team’s overall performance.
Pietrus seems to understand as much:
“I’m a very competitive guy. What I miss the most is being out there,” he said. “It’s not playing time; it’s getting back that adrenalin that I need. It’s hard for me not to have that.
“It’s why I’m so frustrated. … I respect Stan. Of course. He’s like part of my family.”
Family or not, do you think this tension is good for the Magic?
Let’s go to the polls: