Shaq rips Stan Van Gundy for exposing Dwight Howard: ‘It was a bush league move’
Shaq and Dwight Howard have apparently found the one subject about which they can unite: criticizing Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy confirming that Dwight Howard wants him fired was a topic of conversation on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” before the Magic got blown out by the Knicks Thursday. Charles Barkley was upset that the details of a private conversation between Dwight and Magic leadership got back to Van Gundy. He also felt Van Gundy used poor judgment with the timing of his remarks. But Shaq had the harshest criticism of all.
“First of all, private conversations should never be brought public,” said Shaq, “I think it was a bush league move by Stan Van Gundy. He’s lost his team forever now — that can never be repaired. [Van Gundy] threw his main guy under the bus. Even if you guys did have a terrible relationship, now it’s even worse. It cannot be repaired.
“Even if [the front office and Howard] did have that conversation, I think it was the right conversation to have. Players respect guys with proven resumes. Stan has been there a while and he’s a good coach, but in this league, good is not good enough. It’s all about winning championships. I think they sometimes don’t respect his decision making.”
Shaq then went on a rant saying that this isn’t the first time a star player talked to the team’s front office about firing a coach. He knows because he’s speaking from personal experience. In 2005, Shaq told Heat executive Pat Riley that the team needed him to replace Stan Van Gundy as coach. Next thing you know, Van Gundy was stepping down to spend time with his family while Pat Riley was returning to the bench. The move paid off because the Heat won the championship over the Mavericks that season.
Shaq wasn’t just defending Dwight Howard when he ripped Stan Van Gundy; he was defending his own actions from the 2005-2006 season.