Tag: Stan Van Gundy

Orlando Magic v New York Knicks

Stan Van Gundy says he’d have no issue coaching Dwight Howard in the future


There’s no other way to put it: Last season was a complete train wreck for the Orlando Magic.

Dwight Howard held the team hostage with his trade demands, went back and forth as to whether he would or wouldn’t re-up with the team, and even at one point opted in for the final year of his contract, and one more season with the Magic.

Dwight was ultimately sent to the Lakers over the summer, but not before making it clear that he wanted Stan Van Gundy, his head coach at the time, fired while he was still in the middle of the flip-flopping process.

Things came to a head, as you may recall, during one of the most awkward press conferences of all time.

But now that Van Gundy is out of the coaching game for the time being, he’s had some distance from the situation, and perhaps some time to reflect on how it all went down. And from his perspective, there would be no problem coaching Howard again at some point in the future.

In fact, Van Gundy would welcome it. Here’s what he told Richard Deitsch of SI.com:

SI.com: You’ve said your relationship with Dwight Howard is good, these days, correct?

Van Gundy: Yeah, it is. We’ve been in touch throughout the offseason and throughout his rehab. I’ve kept tabs on what has been going on with him. I’ve said from my standpoint that my thoughts of him are all good. I don’t know how many games we won here in five years but it was a lot and he was a huge factor in that thing. He did a lot for me and he was an easy guy to coach, one of the smartest players I have ever coached. He was coachable and practiced every single day. We had our differences and they became public. Had we been left to handle them on our own, I think things would have been a lot of different.

SI.com: If you had to coach him again, there would be no issue?

Van Gundy: Not from my standpoint. Heck, if I were ever anywhere again and he were available, I’d be knocking down the door of my general manager to do anything to get him.

There’s an obvious joke about Stockholm Syndrome to be made here, but in reality, these remarks are consistent with what we saw from Van Gundy all last season. He’s one of the smartest coaches in the game, and one of the most honest.

Van Gundy truly isn’t one to be bothered by off-the-court drama, and he doesn’t care what the public perception is beyond the game of basketball. It’s part of the reason why it was such a shame to see him have to deal with all that Howard nonsense, but it’s also why he’ll be back coaching in the NBA just as soon as he decides the time is right.

Stan Van Gundy to be regular NBC Radio contributor, television analyst for college game

Orlando's Stan Van Gundy shouts during an NBA playoff basketball game in Indianapolis

I imagine much to the delight of his wife (just to get him out of the house a little), Stan Van Gundy has gotten a job.

Van Gundy is going to be a regular contributor to the NBC Sports Radio Network starting immediately discussing the NBA and all things basketball. Which you can be sure will be fun, quotable and make him even more popular in the league office.

He’s also going to make his debut as a television analyst during the inaugural Navy-Marine Corps Classic, featuring college basketball powers Georgetown and No. 10 Florida, on Friday, November 9 at 9 p.m. (Eastern) on the NBC Sports Network.

If you forgot, Van Gundy spent 15 years as a college coach, including eight of those as a head coach (one of those as the head coach of Wisconsin). He knows the college game, and he knows talent.

“After 31 years as a coach, I’m thrilled to begin my media career with the NBC Sports Group,” said Van Gundy. “The best part is that this new relationship allows me to gush about basketball on both television and radio. It’s a privilege that my first event will be the Navy-Marine Corps Classic, which benefits Veterans and features two college basketball powerhouses. I’m excited to get started.”

Van Gundy spent two-plus seasons as the head coach of the Miami Heat and the last five years as the head coach of the Orlando Magic, including taking them to the finals in 2009. But you already knew that. You remember pretty much everything about his time there and we’re not going down that road again.

You also know Van Gundy speaks his mind. Fearlessly. Which makes for really good radio and television. For the next couple months, Van Gundy will call-in for regular guest segments on numerous NBC Sports Radio programs (distributed on 175 stations nationwide) talking all NBA topics. Not just why the Lakers look so bad, but all topics. Then starting in 2013, Van Gundy will serve as a guest host every Friday for one of NBC Sports Radio’s nationally-distributed shows.

This is a great hire for the growing network. So… does this mean I get to say I work with SVG? I’m going to anyway until someone tells me to stop.

Jeff Van Gundy confirms it was NBA who kept his brother off air

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers

Stan Van Gundy came right out and said the reason he is not one of the studio hosts for ESPN’s NBA Countdown studio show (the one that wraps around their game broadcasts on ESPN and ABC) was that David Stern and the NBA shut him out.

His brother Jeff Van Gundy — the lead analyst on ESPN’s broadcasts — basically confirmed that. And rightfully said it left him with journalistic questions.

From JVG’s interview with the USA Today (hat tip to SLAM).

Jeff, who hadn’t previously spoken publicly on the issue until an interview with USA TODAY Sports, says his brother “had a basic agreement” to become an ESPN/ABC analyst in the marquee studio shows that wrap around game coverage: “And then something changed. There’s certainly circumstantial evidence that something from the outside — presumably the NBA — changed (ESPN’s) thinking. … I was happy when they came to an agreement and shocked when they pulled their offer.”

ESPN eventually put together a foursome of Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons, Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon. While I would have liked SVG on the show, that lineup should be an improvement over what they had last year.

As an analyst who gets paid to be critical at times of the league, Jeff called what the league did a “shot across the bow.”

Jeff’s big picture: “This is an organization that’s treated me great. But this raises interesting questions about what a (league-network) partnership means. You have to realize, as a fan, you’re not getting the whole truth. … It seems like there are certain people in each sport that (TV) can’t criticize, or you can’t criticize the league itself. That’s what impressed me when (ESPN’s) Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden criticized the NFL over replacement refs. That (Commissioner) Roger Goodell didn’t throw a hissy fit at ESPN was impressive.”

Leagues can be very controlling by their nature. They want to spin things the same way the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney camps want to spin things. And in the case of the leagues, they have some leverage with the networks that broadcast their games because those rights come up for renewal.

All it means is that you need to be an educated media consumer in today’s market. There is no perfect, unbiased source of information on anything. Your job as a consumer of media is to understand that, notice the patters and see through it where you need to.

And that includes NBA broadcasts.