In March 2011, then-Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was in the process of defending his then-center Dwight Howard from absorbing flagrant fouls that weren’t called, which led to Howard picking up technical fouls that were called. Van Gundy took things a step further, calling Stern the equivalent of a tyrant.
That led to this rebuke from Stern on Colin Cowherd’s radio show:
"I would just venture a guess that we’re not going to be hearing from [Van Gundy] for the rest of the season. When he stops and reads what he said and realized what he did, he will say no more. I have whatever influence the bylaws of the constitution give me and they are substantial. But 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."
How cold was that? He basically said: “I could wield my power … but I’m just going to let Van Gundy and the Magic self-check. Cause they know …”