Stan Van Gundy coached the Orlando Magic for five seasons, but exited the club by way of a messy divorce.
The Dwight Howard saga that played out so publicly claimed Van Gundy as one of its primary victims, and Orlando has been in a full-fledged rebuild ever since.
The Magic inducted Shaquille O’Neal into their team Hall of Fame on Friday, and while it’s unclear if Van Gundy harbors any ill will toward the franchise, he’s not expecting to be the recipient of a similar honor at any point in the future.
Including playoff games, Van Gundy has more wins than any Magic coach. He bailed them out after the Billy Donovan disaster in the spring of 2007 when the Florida Gators coach reneged after taking the job.
Van Gundy steered the club to one NBA Finals appearance in 2009 before being fired after the 2011-12 season.
And that begs the question: Will the Magic, in time, ever put Van Gundy in their hall of fame?
“There is no chance — absolutely no chance,” Van Gundy laughed. “Not the way things went down at the end. I guess if there’s a whole different group of people here — possibly. But not with the current group. That ain’t happening.”
Van Gundy has long had a reputation of speaking his mind, even when it may not be politically correct to do so.
You can bet he let the ownership in Orlando have it after the way they handled the Dwight debacle, and that may be the main reason that Van Gundy considers his ties to the Magic organization somewhat permanently severed.