HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Some people love taking shots at Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy.
We love him around here because he’s smart enough not to take himself too seriously, but still thin-skinned enough to pop off whenever his sensibilities (about anything) are offended.
So it should surprise no one that Van Gundy is having fun in training camp. He is, after all, in his element.
When word spread that he spent his summer trying to improve his connection with his players, complete with road trips to visit them (here at home and abroad), you had to know even more interesting details would surface.
Van Gundy will also be sporting some new looks this season—one by choice, another by mandate.
Both of his creation.
Slightly slimmer and more physically fit, Van Gundy is exercising on the elliptical machine and lifting weights. He’s also trying to eat better, he said, and is scheduled to have another checkup in two weeks to find out exactly how much weight he’s lost.
“It would be almost physically impossible for it to go up,” he said, chuckling.
And those trademark turtleneck shirts complete with the same few sport coats on the sideline are gone. New NBA rules require coaches to wear collared shirts during games.
In an appreciative gesture, Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide—after extending Van Gundy’s contract through 2013—even had tailors fit the coach and some front-office members with suits. So, yes, a fully suited Van Gundy is coming to NBA sidelines.
Maybe even sometimes with a tie.
“I want them to at least name the rule after me,” Van Gundy said. “Somebody has their Bird rights. Larry Bird got that rule named after him. I want it to be the Van Gundy Rule.”
We can go ahead and make the hideout “Van Gundy Rule” headquarters (trust me, we’ve got plenty of room).
Because few people in the league entertain us the way Stan Van can.
And come to think of it, Van Gundy is one of the only coaches we can remember not wearing collared shirts on a regular basis.