Stan Van Gundy on the Raptors' Pizza Promotions and the Ridiculousness of It All
In Toronto, when the home team scores 100 points, the fans get a free slice of pizza. Whether the team wins or loses, whether it's a close game or a 40-point blow out, they get their pizza if the Raps top 100. This is a brutal promotion that ends up with the fans cheering wildly for 100 points in awful losses and then booing their own players when the team doesn't top 100 or, worse yet, chooses to dribble out the clock if they're winning in the final seconds.
Brilliant. Boo your team because they're showing class.
Needless to say, I absolutely abhor the structure of this promotion. I'm happy to say that Stan Van Gundy is with me on this one.
During the Magic's 117-101 victory over the Raptors, Ed Davis scored a bucket and was fouled, going to the line with 2.1 seconds remaining with the opportunity to cut the Magic lead to 16. Yes, that's 16. The Raptors had no hope of winning the game, but the crowd went crazy, as you can see below:
When the arena erupted in cheers, Van Gundy was confused. Why were the fans cheering? Was the scoreboard wrong? Did he miss something? After having the promotion explained to him, he unleashed his thoughts on the promotion during his postgame presser. Click the video below to watch the Van Gundy goodness for yourself:
If you can't watch for some reason, be sure to bookmark this link to come back and watch when you can, but check out the rant in full, via Doug Smith's Raptors Blog:
“I was like, ‘wow, they’re going to cut the lead to 16 and the whole place went nuts like they won the championship, I had no idea what was going on.
“I mean, everybody’s on their feet, standing ovation and the whole thing and then a guy in the crowd next to me sitting baseline said everybody gets a free pizza so I guess that was exciting. That was the loudest the crowd was all night, they were into that. That was a big basket by Ed Davis.
“They’re going to put that on their highlight film at the end of the year. I was like ‘wow what happened I though he had like an 18-point play and tied the game or something.”
Oh, no, Stan, that was just for a piece of lukewarm cardboard covered in sauce and faux cheese.
“Really? We got a standing ovation for a slice? They told me they got a free pizza. A slice? A slice you have to sit in your seat and clap; you can’t stand up on a slice, that’s bad etiquette.”
Sigh. I knew Stan would understand. It's time to retire this promotion. Or at least turn it into one that has to do with the team winning or playing defense and holding their opponents below 100 points. Something, anything has to be better than the set-up the Raptors currently have going on.
(h/t to @outsidethenba for the video clips)
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