There will be no talk about how the NBA is just a business and how there are no hard feelings now that Stan Van Gundy and the Magic have officially ended their relationship. There are hard feelings. It was no secret that Van Gundy and Dwight Howard did not get along, and Stan feels as though the Magic did a poor job of handling the situation. In particular, he doesn’t think very highly of Magic CEO Alex Martins.
“It’s a typical lack of understanding from someone who has no sports knowledge, who has never coached or played, who has never been in a locker room…it’s a naiveté,” Van Gundy said Monday morning on AM 740 according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“I’ll stand on the relationships with players based on the results we got. I think Alex’s comments are based on the fact that Dwight and maybe others didn’t like me…and thinking somehow that’s important.”
Stan’s brother Jeff also ripped Martin back in May when Stan was fired, calling it “absurd” that the Magic were pretending Howard wasn’t the reason for the move. The results during the Van Gundy era were largely an improvement from the previous regime. Stan took over in 2007 following four straight losing seasons, and the Magic had 52 or more wins in each of his first four seasons and 37 this past year with the schedule shortened by the lockout. Had the organization not coddled its biggest superstar before inevitably losing him, Stan thinks things would have gone differently.
“The Dwight thing was so big,” he said. “In an effort, I guess, to make Dwight happy and everything else, we compromised a lot of the culture and values we had before that. It’s always a mistake when you compromise those things…everything goes South. It was no longer a team-first thing. It was inevitable things would not go as well.”
Howard was leaving regardless of what happened, so you have to wonder if the Magic would have been better set up for the future by sticking with Van Gundy and saying good riddance to Superman. Instead, they let the situation turn into an embarrassing PR nightmare and have to move forward without both.
H/T Ball Don’t Lie
Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE