STAN VAN GUNDY knows 76ers guard Jason Richardson pretty well after coaching him for two seasons with the Orlando Magic.
He got an appreciation for Richardson then and it has only grown over the years. Like many, Van Gundy is amazed the 34 year-old Richardson has bounced back after missing 2 years due to injury and surgeries to his knee.
"I called him from time to time over the last couple of years just to see what he was doing," said Van Gundy. "He's one of my favorites. He's a great, great pro, a great worker, a great person and a tremendous guy to coach. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to coach him. I really feel good for him getting back. When they were out in Detroit the last time he came over to the practice facility and worked out. I had a chance to to talk to him.
"I'm just really happy for him. Two years is a long time out. I think that says a lot about him. It would have been easy for him to just stay out and collect his money, but that's not him. I think he really missed being out there. I'm really happy for him. He's just a great, great guy and a heck of a player."
Iverson in house again
Sixers legend Allen Iverson was not only in attendance last night, but he also did commentary in the first quarter on Comcast SportsNet with Marc Zumoff and Malik Rose.
Some of the snippets of his appearance include him saying that he would like to be a part of the Sixers' front office and be in the war room. He also said that Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook is a player who reminds him of himself, because he brings it every night.
Blown up blow off?
Following his team's 10-point win over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night, Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy appeared to give a cold shoulder to Memphis coach Dave Joerger as the two shook hands. It appeared that Joerger was about to say something to SVG as they shook hands, but the Detroit coach blew by.
Joerger appeared confused and rolled his eyes after the very brief encounter. Asked about it last night, Van Gundy seemed dumbfounded.
"I just heard on the bus ride coming over here. I didn't have any idea," said Van Gundy, whose team broke a 10-game losing streak with the Memphis win. "I'll make sure that I contact Dave tomorrow and make sure that he didn't take anything the wrong way. I just remember him saying, 'Great job and good luck the rest of the way,' and I said, 'Good luck in the playoffs' and we moved on. I have great respect for him. I don't know what people are [thinking]. I hope Dave didn't take anything wrong. It was a pleasant exchange. I don't know."