Orlando Magic power forward Brandon Bass had some pretty strong words for team coaches and management over the weekend, according to this report by Tim Povtak of AOL FanHouse. Take a look at these comments, to which I added emphasis:
"I think they'll do the right thing, whatever is the right thing -- either play me next season or send me somewhere else. That's what I'm hoping,'' Bass told FanHouse earlier this week following the Summer Groove charity game in Miami. "I won't go through what I did last season.''
And later, with Povtak's parenthetical additions...
"I expect things to be better for me next season,'' he said. "I felt like I deserved more of an opportunity than I received last season. Look at the series (against Boston when the Magic lost). I was just what was missing. I respect Coach Stan (Van Gundy) and the way he likes to play, but sometimes you have to try something different.''
Bass isn't really in any position to sound so entitled--"I expect things to be better for me"?!--but for what it's worth, team GM Otis Smith seemed to agree last week that Bass could see a larger role next year, saying he expects bigger things from him. Bass averaged 5.8 points and 2.5 boards his first season in Orlando, shooting 51.1% from the floor in just 13 minutes per game.
As Povtak explains, Bass thought he'd be a regular in the Magic's rotation after signing a four-year, $16 million deal last summer. In reality, he was one of the most richly paid 11th men in the game. His lack of court awareness on both ends of the floor didn't endear him to Van Gundy. Plus, his mid-range-based offensive game is ill-suited to the Magic's attack, which requires four shooters with three-point range to surround Dwight Howard in the middle.
If anything, you like to see that Bass is hungry and wants to play. But he probably could have gone about asking about it more diplomatically.