Tag: Stan Van Gundy

Dwight Howard

Magic GM Otis Smith says Dwight Howard did not ask him to fire Stan Van Gundy


Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy made quite a bit of noise on Thursday, when he went public with his knowledge that Dwight Howard asked the team to fire him. This information came right from the top of the organization, Van Gundy said, so there must be some truth to it, right?

Not so much, according to Magic GM Otis Smith.

In an interview before Orlando’s 88-82 win over the Sixers on Saturday, Smith told ESPN’s Lisa Salters that it didn’t happen. Well, sort of.

“He never asked me; I didn’t have that knowledge,” Smith said.

Van Gundy said Thursday he knew Howard, the Magic’s franchise player, had asked that he be fired. Smith said both parties were to blame for the public dispute.

“If he did ask he’s wrong, and for Stan to address it in public, that is wrong,” Smith said.

I have no idea why Smith continues to give interviews during nationally televised games on this subject; maybe he just likes the attention. He’s the only one, with the rest of us having tired of the drama that’s gone on in Orlando almost daily since the very beginning of the season.

You see the loophole here, right? Smith says Howard didn’t ask *him* to fire Van Gundy. That doesn’t mean Howard didn’t go over Smith’s head at some point and speak with ownership, or that Howard’s agent or someone else close to him didn’t make his wishes clear.

(And as an aside — of course Howard asked the Magic to fire Van Gundy. Just watch that video from Thursday; he couldn’t possibly look more disingenuous.)

Round and round we go, with the only thing certain in Orlando being the fact that Howard and Van Gundy must co-exist for the remainder of this season, and through whatever brief run into the postseason Orlando is able to make with all of this turmoil continuing to swirl.

If it feels like we’re going in circles with this story, it’s because the information out of Orlando lately has been nothing short of dizzying.

Stan Van Gundy says he’d like to return as Magic coach. Right.

Orlando Magic v Washington Wizards

There is nobody on the planet that thinks Stan Van Gundy will be back to coach the Orlando Magic next season. Not Jeff Van Gundy. Not Mrs. Van Gundy. Not the president of the Van Gundy Fan Club… actually, there is no Van Gundy fan club.

Yet, Stan Van Gundy is going through the motions. Here is what he said via the Orlando Sentinel:

“I don’t have a scenario in my head where I wouldn’t,” Van Gundy told the Orlando Sentinel after he was asked whether he wants to return. “They’re going to have to make decisions. But I’m a basketball coach and I know this: I don’t want to go anywhere else. I mean, I love Orlando, and this is where I want to be. And I want to coach.”

And I don’t have a scenario in my head where Kate Upton isn’t my girlfriend. Doesn’t make it reality.

There have been multiple reports that Van Gundy wanted Howard moved at the deadline to end the “will he/won’t he” soap opera. That didn’t happen. Now he makes a statement that essentially forces the Magic management to let him go or move Howard before next season — and he had to know the coach loses that battle every time in the NBA. So while he says he wants to stay, his actions say otherwise.

The Magic management are going to try and have everybody deal with this through their eventual playoff elimination. But if they lay an egg Saturday night against the Sixers like they did against the Knicks the other day, a decision may be forced upon them. And that decision is to fire Van Gundy and promote assistant Patrick Ewing into an impossible situation.

What. A. Mess.

Report: Howard wanted Brian Shaw or Michael Malone to replace Van Gundy

Dwight Howard Stan Van Gundy

From Bright House Sports Network’s David Baumann:

Multiple sources close to Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard told Bright House Sports Network’s David Baumann that prior to the season, Howard indicated that he preferred the Magic would have hired Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw or Golden State Warriors assistant coach Michael Malone to replace current Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy.

Shaw is a former NBA guard who was an assistant coach with the Lakers for 7 years, and hence has more experience with Tex Winter’s legendary triple-post offense than all but a few coaches out there. Shaw is currently an assistant coach with the Pacers. Michael Malone, the son of Brendan Malone, is one of the best-respected assistant coaches in the league, and has been an assistant coach with the Cavaliers and Hornets. He is currently an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.

Kevin Samples, Howard’s manager and cousin, had this to say when asked about the coaching situation:

 “Dwight has nothing to do with the coach situation,” according to Kevin Samples, Howard’s manager.  When asked why a coaching change wasn’t made after the Magic were bounced in the first round of the playoffs last season, Samples said, “That’s a great question.  You’ll have to ask Otis (Smith).”

It certainly doesn’t seem like Dwight’s management team has a vested interest in Van Gundy keeping his job. We will, of course, continue to keep you updated on this soap opera as updates keep coming in.

Stan Van Gundy says it’s “absurd” to think Kentucky beats an NBA team

Orlando Magic's head coach Stan Van Gundy directs his team during their NBA basketball game against Miami Heat in Miami

Charles Barkley said it, so we should just assume it was absurd to begin with.

But it got a lot of play. Barkley said he thought Kentucky could beat the Raptors or Bobcats. In case you wanted some thoughts besides mine on why that idea is absurd, I bring you Magic coach Stan Van Gundy.

“Look, it’s absurd,” he said before the Magic faced the New York Knicks. “I mean, people will say, ‘Oh, Kentucky you know’s got four NBA players.’ Yeah, well the other team’s got 13.”

“Could anything happen on a one-night thing? I mean, I suppose, you have major upsets all the time. So maybe, but it’d be rare and in a series it’d be a joke,” Van Gundy said. “It wouldn’t be close. That’s just the way it is. John Calipari’s got a lot of talent, he does not have 13 NBA players. He just doesn’t. And even if those guys all are, they’re all NBA rookies. I mean, when has that ever been a success in the NBA? So no, they’re not going to win.”

Well said. Thank you. Now, let’s talk to Van Gundy about pizza

Quote of the day: Stan Van Gundy on pizza etiquette

Stan Van Gundy

“I mean, everybody’s on their feet, standing ovation and the whole thing and then a guy in the crowd next to me sitting baseline said everybody gets a free pizza, so I guess that was exciting. That was the loudest the crowd was all night. They were into that. That was a big basket by Ed Davis. They’re going to put that on the highlight film at the end of the year. I was like, ‘Wow, what happened, I thought they had like an 18-point play and tied the game or something.”

At that point, Van Gundy was informed the fans did not get an entire pizza; just a slice.

“Really? We got a standing ovation for a slice? They told me they got a free pizza. A slice? A slice you have to sit in your seat and clap; you can’t stand up on a slice, that’s bad etiquette.”

—Stan Van Gundy, discussing the eruption of fans in Toronto on a what seemed a meaningless basket at the end of Orlando’s blowout win in over the Raptors Monday, but a basket that gave the Raptors 100 points so everyone at the game a coupon for a free slice of pizza from the chain Pizza Pizza. Via the fantastic Eric Koreen at the National Post.

This trend seemed to start with Lakers fans chanting “we want tacos” as part of a promotion (although why anybody actually would want those greasy Jack in the Box tacos is beyond me) and now similar food promotions are pretty much league wide. It confuses players and sometimes coaches sometimes. Which is usually pretty funny and leads to fans getting into meaningless scores at the end of games like degenerate gamblers.

And Zach Lowe is right, Stan Van Gundy is a national treasure.