Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has been mocking the Raptors and Toronto fans ever since he found out that Raptors fans get a free slice from Pizza Pizza when they score 100 or more points.
The Raptors were down by 16 and Ed Davis scored to put the Raptors at 100, and the crowd erupted cheering wildly. He was puzzled because the Raptors were not going to win so why was the crowd cheering so much? After being told about the Pizza Pizza promotional, he jeered Toronto fans everywhere by saying, “I mean, everybody’s on their feet, standing ovation and the whole thing and then a guy in the crowd next to me sitting baseline said everybody gets a free pizza, so I guess that was exciting,” Van Gundy said. “That was the loudest the crowd was all night. They were into that. That was a big basket by Ed Davis. They’re going to put that on the highlight film at the end of the year. I was like, ‘Wow, what happened, I thought they had like an 18-point play and tied the game or something.”
Unfortunately, this sound bite has made it all over the news and has media outlets across the US have been joining in on the jeering.
Stan Van Gundy is probably is nice guy, but the comments he made were akin to a bully kicking sand in the nerdy kid’s face after knocking him down. The Raptors organization has been putting out a bad team year after year, so it is always nice as a fan to be able to get a little something in return for showing up at the game. Clearly the Raptors are not going anywhere as long a Jose Calderon is your starting point guard and Andrea Bargnani is your “superstar”. So as a Torontonian, I’d like to take that slice home with me. At least it’s better than paying for the overpriced beer and so-called food at the ACC concession stands.
Toronto fans should not feel bad about Stan Van Gundy’s mocking of their enthusiasm. Taking a look at the man himself, it looks like he gets excited every time someone opens up a bag of chips. Van Gundy works in the league and has gone to city after city and he has seen how some cities are on the border of depression. Making fun of the fans, who are the same people that make the NBA real is to be thankless. Van Gundy’s livelihood is a result of the NBA fans’ interest in this sport. By making fun of Toronto fans, Van Gundy is guaranteed a rude reception every time he steps foot into the Air Canada Center.
So Toronto fans, rejoice, be proud, stand tall, and cheer loudly while you take a good bite of the gooey chewy deliciousness of that (FREE) pizza slice.