ORLANDO, Fla. — Stan Van Gundy believes what is said on the court should stay on the court.
The Magic coach voiced strong opposition Friday to Detroit’s Charlie Villanueva tweeting alleged trash-talking comments that Boston’s Kevin Garnett made during a game. Van Gundy said it “doesn’t seem like the adult way to handle it” and that Villanueva needs to act more like a “grown man” and respond privately to Garnett.
“There’s a lot of things said out on the court, and I’m sure in all sports in a very competitive environment, that if people knew all of it they would find a lot of it inappropriate,” Van Gundy said.
Villanueva posted on his Twitter site earlier this week that Garnett called him a cancer patient during the Celtics’ 109-86 road win. Villanueva suffers from alopecia universalis, a medical condition that results in hair loss. He does not have hair on his head.
Garnett denied the accusation and later released a statement that said his comment to Villanueva was, “You are cancerous to your team and our league.”
LeBron James weighed in on the topic before the Miami Heat played at New Orleans.
“I don’t think, me personally, that I would put it on Twitter,” James said. “If someone said something about me personally, I would approach that person. But you have to approach him right after the game to see if he was really serious about what he said.”
James said he could not recall any trash talking that rose to that level during his NBA career.
Van Gundy didn’t defend Garnett’s alleged comments but, echoing Celtics coach Doc Rivers’ sentiments, felt it was inappropriate for Villanueva to tweet them. Van Gundy does not use Twitter.
“Like any of us, if we’re offended by anything anybody says, to me, I think you handle it between the two people,” Van Gundy said. “I mean, he’s on the court right there with Kevin Garnett. If he’s unhappy, say something back to him. Handle it however you want, but handle it between the two of you.
“Tweeting it? I don’t get that,” Van Gundy continued. “I’m from a different generation, I guess, but I don’t get it. I don’t get it anyway. I don’t know why anybody would want to know, ‘Hey, I’m heading out to the movies.’ So I don’t get it period.
“But I definitely don’t get it as a way to handle your problems. I mean, handle it. You’re a grown man, handle it yourself, is the way I would have had handled it.”
The Magic were hosting the New Jersey Nets later Friday night.
AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this report.