Early Monday afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Pistons have decided to part ways with head coach and general manager Stan Van Gundy.
Among many to come through the Piston pipeline under SVG was Spencer Dinwiddie, a Brooklyn Net, a fan favorite and as we know well, one of the league’s most improved player of the 2017-18 season.
Did Van Gundy blow it with Dinwiddie and was he an exemplar of why SVG got the axe?
Stephen A Smith thinks so. On his show early Monday, Smith discussed Van Gundy’s front office blunders in Detroit, after offering praise of SVG the coach.
“In the end, what it comes down to is that you’re just looking at some of the guys that have been picked up under the stewardship of Stan Van Gundy,” said Smith in a calm tone (which might surprise some). “Just last year, Luke Kennard, you picked him 12th overall, that means you passed up on Donovan Mitchell, you could’ve had him but you picked Luke Kennard.
“You look at this kid Spencer … what is it, Dinwiddie?” Smith continued, seemingly asking his producer to make sure he pronounced the Net guard’s name correctly. “Remember when Stan Van Gundy picked him up, second round, 38th overall? He (Dinwiddie) struggled under the coaching of Stan Van Gundy for two years but now has come into his own in Brooklyn.”
We tweeted out SAS’s remarks, and more importantly (for us anyway) Dinwiddie acknowledged them, the University of Colorado Alum quickly responded on Twitter, taking issue with Smith’s analysis.
In all fairness I did learn what it meant to be in the NBA those first two years. https://t.co/JU3YXFdIJw— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) May 7, 2018
He may be right. After all, smack in the middle of his uprising, he told us that the wasn’t sure what his role would be prior to the season. Dinwiddie’s development was more about Kenny Atkinson and the Nets did rather than what Van Gundy didn’t.
Nets fans are just glad he’s theirs now … they just hope that doesn’t change over the next couple of months.