Friday's Morning Mashup: David Stern fires back at Magic coach Stan Van Gundy for 'aberrant behavior'

March 11, 2011 - 2:55 am

Welcome to Friday's Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire. WHAT'S HAPPENING LOCALLY FRIDAY: NBA: Celtics at 76ers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI) NHL: Bruins at Islanders, 7 p.m. (NESN) MLB Preseason: Red Sox SS at Astros, 1:05 p.m. Red Sox SS at Twins, 1:05 p.m. SATURDAY: MLB Preseason: Marlins at Red Sox, 1:05 p.m. (NESN) SUNDAY: NBA: Bucks at Celtics, 6 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI) MLB Preseason: Red Sox at Pirates, 1:05 p.m. (NESN) AROUND THE WEB: '™¦ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, in defending suspended center Dwight Howard, on Monday criticized the NBA and David Stern, saying the commissioner doesn't "tolerate other people's opinion or free speech or anything." Stern fired back Thursday, saying he would talk to the team's owners about the coach's comments and that he does not expect Van Gundy to criticize him again. "I have a feeling that some modicum of self-restraint will cause Stan and the team for which he works to rein in his aberrant behavior," Stern said. Added Stern: "It didn't bother me personally. I see somebody whose team isn't performing, whose star player was suspended, who seems to be fraying. ... Whatever the pressures are that Stan is feeling, that he fell to whatever position he's in to say something like this, it made me sad." '™¦ According to reports in the New York papers, the referees whose errors marred the end of the St. John's-Rutgers game Wednesday night did not remove themselves voluntarily from the rest of the Big East tournament. They were given an ultimatum by the league and agreed to go quietly. In the New York Daily News, Dick Weiss writes about the situation and wonders if less established referees would have been as protected. '™¦ The Heat ended a five-game losing streak by beating the Lakers on Thursday night, ending LA's eight-game winning streak and sweeping the season series. That spurred Kobe Bryant to return to the floor an hour after the game for a 90-minute shooting session. Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo!Sports.com writes about what drives Bryant. '™¦ In the wake of Zdeno Chara's hit on Max Pacioretty, there's a lot of talk about violence in the NHL. In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Jeff Blair writes that this is hockey's steroid moment, when the league needs to make a change to the game. ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 11, 1999, the Red Sox signed which free agent pitcher who had a family connection to the team? QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It was a horrific injury, we're sorry that it happened in our fast-paced, physical game, but I don't think whether or not supplemental discipline was imposed would change what happened and, in fact, the people in the game who I have heard from, almost to a person ... believe that it was handled appropriately." '€” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, on the league's decision not to suspend Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara STAT OF THE DAY: 4 '€” Consecutive wins for the Sabres over the Bruins, after Thursday night's 4-3 decision in overtime 'NET RESULTS: Croatian soccer player Darijo Srna gets punched in the face by Italy's Daniele De Rossi and then gets a yellow card for getting upset about it. While the ref missed the punch, De Rossi faces punishment from UEFA. TRIVIA ANSWER: Ramon Martinez SOOTHING SOUNDS: Bobby McFerrin turns 61 Friday.