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Stan Van Gundy tells fans he’s sorry he didn’t play starters

Oct 15, 2010, 1:34 AM EST

Image (1) SVan_Gundy-thumb-250x166-11630.jpg for post 1965

Preseason games see some odd lineups, rested stars and big minutes for guys who will spend the season in the D-League. In short, don’t confuse preseason with NBA basketball as you know it.

But the tickets aren’t any cheaper for fans. The beer is not less expensive. The parking still sets you back. At those prices, you still deserve a show.

Thursday night in Orlando fans didn’t get much of one — and not just because the Bobcats were in town. The Magic sat every starter. No Dwight Howard, no Jameer Nelson, no Vince Carter, no Rashard Lewis. People were upset. Okay, nobody was too angry about missing out on Lewis, but that’s not the point, the show took a night off.

And Stan Van Gundy is sorry.

The Magic coach took the unprecedented step of calling back the Orlando Sentinel’s Magic blogger Brian Schmitz well after the game ended asking him to pass along word to the fans he was sorry.

“I want to say I’m sorry and I was wrong. I thought I reasoned it through, but I can’t justify it. If it was the first game that somebody came out to see, you bring your kids…. I’d be upset, too.

“I won’t do it again.”

Van Gundy had every right to see his backups play and see how they would do — it’s preseason. But credit the coach for seeing the big picture and feeling bad about it.

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