New Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy advised Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to mind his own business.
Gilbert told Detroit radio station 95.5 FM on Friday that the Pistons ought to remove “Detroit” from their name because they play in Auburn Hills.
Van Gundy responded later in the day in an interview with Detroit radio station 105.1 FM.
“Dan Gilbert has some selfish interests for saying what he said,” Van Gundy said. “I think we know what those are. Finally I think he has enough to worry about with his own team than worrying about us.”
Van Gundy may have been referring to Gilbert’s business interests in Detroit.
Gilbert said he has talked to Pistons owner Tom Gores several times during owners meetings about moving the team from Auburn Hills to downtown Detroit.
“Detroit doesn’t have an NBA team, because they’re somewhere 30 miles north of here, right? They’re in Auburn Hills, right?” Gilbert said. “Now that Sacramento is building an arena downtown, (the Pistons are) the only one not in an urban core. The only one. It’s really not good business. It’s nothing against Auburn Hills, Oakland County or L. Brooks Patterson. An arena in the middle of a field is not an ideal thing.”
The Detroit Lions and Tigers have moved into the downtown area in recent years. The Red Wings have played at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit since 1979.
Van Gundy defended Gores, saying several teams in pro sports play their home games outside the city after which they are named.
“Tom Gores has been involved in the city of Detroit, not just the surrounding area,” Van Gundy said. “There are teams all over the place that carry the name of the city but represent an entire area. Where we play isn’t that much relevance.”
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