Van Gundy's salty order creates social media firestorm

Vincent Goodwill Jr.
The Detroit News

San Antonio — Vulgarity isn't rare during high-level NBA competition, but Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy coined what appears to be a cult-like phrase before his team's win Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs.

"They can't do anything but tip it … We just form a (bleeping) wall!"

Yes, like Col. Jessup in "A Few Good Men," where Jack Nicholson addressed a courtroom in the film's most riveting scene , referring to a "Wall" but using it in a military sense.

Van Gundy's usage took place with just .01 seconds left, after Brandon Jennings' floating layup left just a little bit of time on the clock, not enough for the Spurs to catch and shoot but just enough for a tip attempt, prompting the Pistons coach to tell his players essentially, to protect the rim.

Except he used it in a very colorful phrase, which just so happened to be caught by Fox Sports Detroit's mics and camera during the final huddle.

"I hate to say that the F-bomb's are in every timeout, but it's in more than a few," Van Gundy said, somewhat sheepishly. "But normally it doesn't end up on TV. I feel bad about that, but we were just making a point."

Because there was only two games on the NBA's schedule last night, and the Pistons were winners of five straight since the release of Josh Smith, they were the center of NBA Twitter during their comeback against the Spurs.

And all of NBA Twitter heard about Van Gundy's words, his team's lack of reaction to his vulgarity, and took it with hashtags and memes about Van Gundy's words.

He didn't realize, though, that it would become somewhat of a rallying cry for the fans — and he's likely endeared himself to the fan base, unknowingly.

"Oh boy," Van Gundy said. "It's funny, it's a one-tenth of a second play where it would take a miracle to win and all of a sudden, that's the deal. If they're having fun with it, that's great."

Now, Van Gundy certainly didn't know he was being captured, which made the phrase seem that much more natural and comical at the same time.

He might see it on a few T-shirts Friday at the Palace.

"It's been tough for our fans this year so if they're finding something to have fun with, I'm all for it," he said. "They deserve it."