Wednesday night against Minnesota, Mickael Pietrus played just three minutes. It was a blowout win and he could not get on the court.
He was not happy about it and let coach Stan Van Gundy know, which led to a shouting match on the bench, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“MP was unhappy about when he went into the game and he was unhappy about me telling him to play defense,” (Magic coach Stan) Van Gundy said. “He didn’t like what I was saying and I didn’t like his response, so I took him out of the game…”
“I’m a very competitive guy. What I miss the most is being out there,” Pietrus 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.”
Van Gundy ticks off a lot of players — JJ Redick had issues, Brandon Bass did as well. Van Gundy likes to tinker and mix things up, learn about combinations, and find his own way to rotations that will be used come the playoffs. That tinkering leads to friction.
Players like routine. They like minutes, but they also like regular rotations. Van Gundy may be less into the routine than other coaches, but Pietrus has to live with it. Want more minutes? Defend, ball hard, force him to play you because he can’t take you out. At the end of the day, that’s all you can do.
Cussing at the coach on the sidelines helps less than you’d think. The coach always wins.