After Game 2 between the Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Stanley Johnson had some choice words for LeBron and company which included Johnson putting himself in James’ s head. It was very interesting to say the least and even though I may not advise waking a sleeping bear, I surely respected the courage.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy may have felt differently has he had a talk with rookie Stanley Johnson and he summarized how it went, via the Detroit Free Press:
“I had a talk with Stan today, so I’ll leave it at that. I told him what I thought about his comments and everything. So, that’s a discussion that we had today. ”
“You have to realize he’s a 19-year-old kid going through this for the first time, and you get him right after a game like that, he’s frustrated and all of that. It wasn’t – We met, we talked. He knows how I feel, what my concerns are. But it wasn’t a, it wasn’t – at least I hope he didn’t take it – it wasn’t an anger session. It wasn’t a “you’re an a**hole” type of thing. It wasn’t. It’s just another learning experience for a 19-year-old kid.”
“LEARN” that he did! Stanley Johnson definitely learned his lesson because LeBron James handed him the business in Game 2 and then went to the Palace and got the job done in Game 3 with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists.
It’s hard to decipher what exactly of Stanley Johnson’s statements really rubbed Stan Van Gundy the wrong way but from the sounds of it, he sure wasn’t happy. LeBron has placed himself in that aura of greats where if their “cruising” on by through a game, so to speak, then just let them cruise. Other guys that had this same complex were guys like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. You didn’t want to talk trash to them and get them going because when you did, that’s when they’ll put up a quick 40 with zero remorse. And I think that’s what Stan Van Gundy was expressing to his rookie. Yeah, we respect the courage and competitiveness but you have to back it up. You can’t bark at James and then let him post 27 points and then a near triple double in the following game, and lose on top of that! We might not hear much from Stanley Johnson going forward as the Detroit Pistons have their backs against the wall, down 0-3 in a win or go home situation.