No Decision On Van Gundy — Yet

A decision on the fate of Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy is not expected today, according to a league source, as the Magic’s front office undertakes a review of the just-completed season that is likely to take a few days.

The Magic’s season was overwhelmed by the trade demand of franchise player Dwight Howard, and his on-again, off-again desire to remain with the team. Howard ultimately decided to “opt in” for the final year of his current contract, 2012-13, rather than opt out in July and become an unrestricted free agent.

But his relationship with Van Gundy was ruptured after the coach disclosed to reporters after an April shootaround that someone in Orlando’s management had told Van Gundy that Howard wanted him fired. That disclosure came seconds before Howard, trying to quell rumors that the two didn’t get along, came up to Van Gundy and put an arm around him.

Howard missed the Magic’s last regular-season games and all of Orlando’s first-round playoff series loss to Indiana after undergoing back surgery in Los Angeles April 20 to repair a herniated disc.

The Magic thus have to reach a decision on whether to keep Van Gundy, who has a 290-163 record (including playoffs) in five seasons as head coach, while also trying to determine how the Howard situation will be resolved. Orlando will not have a repeat of this past season, however; Howard will be dealt in the offseason if the Magic determine he does not want to stay long-term. Several teams, most notably the Nets, want him.

The Magic made The Finals in 2009 under Van Gundy, who stressed defense and half-court execution on offense with great success, with the emerging Howard becoming the league’s best center.

But Van Gundy’s demanding, relentless style soon became an issue for Howard and other players. General manager Otis Smith told Van Gundy he had to ease up and be more positive, and Van Gundy made a great effort to do so the last couple of years. But Orlando has not been able to get back near the top, losing in the first round each of the last two seasons.

The Magic traditionally take time after the season to make major decisions. Smith does not conduct the postseason “exit interviews” with players that most teams have, figuring everyone knows what happened during the year and needs time away from one another to decompress.


  1. arby11 says:

    1. Dwight needs to decide if he is staying or extending.
    2. Stan’s fate is depends on Dwight”s decision.
    3. Otis should go either way.
    ps. does anyone remember when the Magic drafted Vasquez the next player was Danny Granger.

  2. el_mago says:

    Chris and Angelo only 2 commenters that actually watch magic games… Name another NBA head coach that has thrown his star player to the wolves on camera…? That was a selfish move by SVG, all designed for the built in response when he is fired, “I told you guys it would happen”. Howard has played for SVG for 5 seasons and has approached SVG numerous times about his demonstrative style. Even Otis met with SVG and asked him to cool down on the sidelines during games, but SVG has not changed at all.

    Ever watch the Nuggets and their head coach George Carl??? How many of his players does he show up on the sideline by swinging his arms all over and pacing the sidelines when the Nuggest are not playing well?

    How many wins would SVG have without Howard? Guaranteed he would not be anywhere near .500.

    Actuall Magic fans, people who watch Magic games, know SVG has lost this team. This mess is not only on SVG, Otis has to go as well!

    Magic need to sign Scott Skiles or Nate McMillan and then do whatever it takes to bring in Nash.

  3. Angelo says:

    Chris said it best about Van Gundy yelling. As a Magic season ticket owner I renewed after Stan said Howad wanted him fired. Stan stole Glen Davis’ nickname of “Big Baby.” I renewed because I felt Big Baby Van Gundy would be gone. I would like Howard to remain but the problem is Van Gundy. He called all the plays and driving to the basket never qualified. Howard was doubled all the time and that made them shot 3’s but other offense is available. Then playing Duhon was awful. Bye Stan.

  4. chris says:

    You can see that people are split here, and it really depends on your overall view of how an organization works. I do wonder if some of you who think it’s great that Van Gundy is such a yeller are really football fans or drill sergeants and not basketball fans. Because I think most basketball players don’t really appreciate coaches who are acerbic and scream at them all the time. You can get your point across without doing that. And Van Gundy is pretty demonstrative on the sideline if you ever have sat and watched him coach a game. I wonder if your boss sat next to you and yelled at you all day while you worked and screamed out when you made mistakes so that everyone in the building knew — if that wouldn’t get old for you, too, after a few years. I notice that some of you seem to be lobbying for one side or the other without even considering the other side. You can lobby all you want, but I doubt it’s going to change the decision that the Magic ultimately decide to make. And in the long run, neither one of them may end up coming back, which would be really sad. There is no doubt that both Van Gundy and Howard are among the very best at what they do. The team would not have performed as well without either one of them. Though it might be able to perform about the same with a different coach, as long as that coach is well-prepared and is knowledgeable. You’re probably not going to find a center in the current NBA that will do the things that Howard has done for the Magic (a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and All NBA talent. And yes, Howard did play a key role in helping them get to a Finals — a team that had not been out of the first round in seven years. And Van Gundy played a role in that, too, but he wouldn’t have been able to do that without the players.)

  5. renz_garnett says:

    stay with dwight howard.. fire stan van gundy.,, get mike d’antoni and steve nash to win 2012-2013 championship..

  6. Bryan says:

    If the MAGIC fire SVG to keep “BIG BABY HOWARD” happy, I will NEVER buy another magic ticket or buy ANYTHING ORLANDO MAGIC, TRADE HOWARD and keep SVG…..honestly one of thee best coaches in the league. Get rid of Otis Smith first and foremost, then trade Dwight Howard or trade some people to get Deron Williams here, But we Magic fans know what will happen, They will trade J.J and Ryan Anderson (our pure shooters) and keep all the junk ( you know HOWARD’S FRIENDS) Its because of Howard we didnt make any trades before the deadline, he didnt want any of HIS FRIENDS traded. Howard is a kid and needs to grow up and WANT THAT CHAMPIONSHIP!!! GOD!!!!

  7. gerger says:

    Howard should be traded to nets, it will be a win-win situation for both teams. Nets could acquire Howard and this will make Williams stay as well and Magic will have Brooks and Wallace plus a pick in exchange. Both teams will stay as good playoff teams if this happens.

  8. Flying Raijin_41 says:

    howard should be traded and coach stan van gundy should stay…the two should be separated because they’re the cause of the trouble…a player shouldn’t hold hostage a team…if he wants to leave then go to move forward, other teams needed of his services…A good coach like stan should be appreciated and respected for what he has done to the team and the organization….

    • Jen says:

      Obviously you must be a Nets fan; how do the Magic win with that, and Nets get 2 superstars? Right!

  9. sholmes87 says:

    Excuse me?!?! A coach is demanding and relentless and this is a BAD THING?!?! Geez! What a bunch of babies the Magic must be. BOO HOO! Bad old coach actually wants us to WORK for him. Stan should just kiss the whole thing goodbye and go skewer those softies on TNT/ESPN!

  10. all of magics staff and players are at fault says:

    1. turk needs to go and he isn’t worth the money he claims.
    2. SVG should stay, he has great defensive techniques sorta similar to mike brown but overall a great coach (don’t let corp media interfere with the game, numbers do the talking.)
    3.obvious jameer nelson needs to be traded or benched since his numbers after his major injury proves so. for allowing the media to put pressure on the howard situation (same goes for the “LIN-sanity case” that was a succesful tourist attraction and a way to expand their asian audience, which is why lin should leave since HOGmelo was favored regardless of Lins incredible talent).

  11. marko says:

    Magic are one of the most boring teams in NBA. It’s just free throws and 3-pointers, nobody wants to watch that, especially since they have been doing the same thing for years now and they cannot win the title. So change would do good for everyone.

  12. Jao says:

    Otis Smith should conduct the interview on himself. face a mirror and tell himself that he needs to be fired. then fixing the Magic can begin. everything wrong with this franchise begins with Smith.

  13. John B. says:

    He is an idiot and should be fired.

  14. Bob says:

    I think he should stay. They at least went to the finals one year. He is easily one of the best coaches in the league, David

  15. alex says:

    i think he’s a good a fit in charlote, bobcats need a god coach and this is a proper time for him for a change, howard issue will not resolve unless one of them will give way.its not stun’s fault in there early exit in the first round, but the management itself, because they failed bring big calibers that will make the team more better than 2009,

  16. TTKIN says:

    Everyone keeps saying the Magic arent going to want to bring Stan back…has anyone thought about what Stan wants? Listen to how he talks about it. him saying he doesnt care to me really sounds like he’s at the point where even if they offer him a contract he wont come back. Dwight dismantled this season for them, and he’s going to do it again next year. Why would Stan want to be around for that? Dwight is screwing the franchise and Stan is getting the blame.

    • Peter says:

      If I were Stan I would say that I’m happy to come back and coach the team that just played for me in the playoffs, plus any future additions. That team played hard and gave their all, and they played with an ‘all business’ attitude.

      I would refuse to resign as head coach unless/until given confirmation that Dwight Howard has been traded. If they couldn’t provide that confirmation, then there are a lot of teams who’d love a coach as skilled as Stan.

  17. capone says:

    magic should go after odem steve nash or deron willams

  18. notshorey says:

    As a Magic fan I have three thoughts:

    1. I think Dwight is making a mistake if he thinks things will get better without Stan. Most other coaches would not play through Dwight as he is not very talented offensively and creates a large number of turnovers. The Magic offense was actually better without Dwight in terms of ball movement and turnovers.

    2. All and all Stan has done very well this year with a really poor roster. In fact, the Magic would have beat Indianapolis if they had any reasonable back-up center. How can the GM – Otis Smith – be doing his job? The Magic have not had a back-up center since they traded Gortat last December. Otis needs to be fired first.

    3. My major gripe with Stan is that he sticks with bad players too long. How he stayed with Duhon despite how bad he is was bad for the Magic and Stan. That said, as mentioned previously, the Magic did not have the bench to put others in when the starters disappointed.

  19. Stan should stay, Howard should leave, as simple as that.

  20. Nokz says:

    Prohoops u crack me up. who are you talking about? JEFF?? do u mean Stan Van Gundy? Jeff Doesn’t coach anymore. and dude stop contradicting ur self. hehehe

  21. Stan can’t talk right now he’s goin fishing with the rest of the magic

  22. bodjee says:

    The magic has much more to gain by trading Dwight than firing Stan. I think Stan did a very good job of babysitting Dwight throughout their union while ignoring other big man on the team… Does the Magic needs another babysitter coach or does it needs a few big bodies in its rotation… and maybe extra money to spend on wings?. It’ll be an interesting topic at the water fountain either way.

  23. charles says:

    Hindisight is 20-20 and they probably should have traded Howard for Bynum. But we are where we are and they are in a tough spot. Either trade the center whose value has diminished significantly or let go of Van Gundy….or everyone can hug it out!

  24. Rob says:

    Trade Howard.

  25. mirzahat says:

    This is easily the most annoying story this season.

    Hate to see players like Howard, Carmelo and earlier LeBron making the show of their future decisions just to forget the current team they play for.

    David Stern should punish such players who openly discuss the trades and teams during the current season.

    This year, the Orlando Magic looked like a team left out by Howard, like forgotten and irrelevant.

    The most annoying part is that media is talking more about this then about good plays this season.

    Can I have a “No VanGundy, no trade rumors” button here on to activate so that those news get filtered out?

    I want stories about basketball not about basketball executives.

    Sure it is important to write about trades too, but Im really sick of the “Will he go”, “What will happen”, “To the Lakers?”

    I feel sorry for the teams they play for like Orlando, they are really disrespected.

    • you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself says:

      sounds like a politicians opinion EWWWWWWWWWWWW

  26. Duncan says:

    Guys give DA a break. This guy is everywhere on the net. I have no idea how he churns out so much great stuff. Thanks DA. What’s a year here or there.

  27. Rudy Leal says:

    Oh, I didn’t know Howard could shoot from more than 2 feet from the basket! Since when does dunking make the best center? Defensive center he is, but this guy can’t shoot the basket unless he is a few few away. There are too many centers that are or were way better than Howard.

  28. prohoops says:

    Jeff should be fired just for being soft all year, A season without a tech??? No I think Howard should go, and let Jeff stay, Good coaches are hard to find.

  29. Chris says:

    If I were Stan, I’d welcome the opportunity to take a break and get another coaching gig. Just going to be a repeat of all this drama next year as well. Dwight will not stay long term. Now the real question, when is Otis getting canned? Probably right after he does the dirty work of firing Stan.

    • Glenn says:

      Folks: The man compiled a 290-163 over five seasons. Thats’ 58 wins per — not exactly commonplace around the NBA. I honestly do not believe Howard intends to sign long-term with the Magic. There should be no period of decision for the front office. Just trade Howard!

    • David says:

      Agree Otis should go but wish Stan keeps this gig. If they still had the young team that went to the 2009 finals then they would be the favorite this year.

      Management was too impatient and not let the team grow and mature into championship contenders.

      • Peter says:

        Agreed, Dwight is a tool and Otis is like a kid in a kandy store- just looking to buy every harmful piece he can find. Stan is hte only guy who has done them any good!

  30. W/E says:

    Poor Stan hes gunna be jobless now, no one likes him :(((

  31. igorsa89 says:

    Lakers destroyed them in those finals,so no wonder David doesn’t remember the year.

  32. igorsa89 says:

    Magic made Finals in 2009,not ’10.Correct that.

  33. BFoulds says:

    Van Gundy should stay. Howard should be traded.

    • Peter says:

      Thank goodness, someone has the right idea!

      Seriously, what has Dwight done for Orlando since he’s been there other then cause problems the last 2 years? Have they won a title? No. Will they win one anytime soon if he stays? No.

      If they get rid of him and get a start and 2 or 3 solid players in return, they will probably be a better team. Hell even with Dwight, I still think Indiana would have dominated Orlando regardless…so it’s not they are guaranteed to win with him.

      • Tim says:

        The Magic completely dominate Indiana with Dwight, it was painful to watch
        the playoffs seeing Indiana control the paint and score at will inside. Even
        though I do agree that if Howard is going to carry his drama into next season
        they need to trade him to L.A. for bynum and a couple of picks.

  34. ray says:

    he should keep his dignity and resign. why wait till you get sacked?
    hopefully he stops coaching in the nba afterwards and doesn”t go broadcasting either.
    I don”t want to see this guy ever again.
    I don’t know a person who likes him, or thinks he’s funny!!!!

    • Peter says:

      Actually I think he’s pretty cool – he’s up front and says it how it is. No Sugarcoating and BS like many other ppl, and I respect that.

      Plus he has the guts to stand up to his childish franchise player, even though he knows people will take Dwights side over his. That takes balls.

  35. Salazaar says:

    The magic didn’t reach the finals in 2010

  36. Sinorsaint says:

    Can i get a meow in here.

  37. Kris says:

    They made the NBA Finals in 2009, not in 2010.

  38. leiker says:

    David, it was probably just a typo, but the Magic made the Finals in 2009, not in 2010.

  39. Ed says:

    David Magic made Finals in 09.