Stan Van Gundy on Dwight Howard Checking Out on Magic: “It becomes a convenient excuse. It gets almost ridiculous after awhile.”February 15, 2012 – 7:00 am by Steven Cuce
Stan Van Gundy is a big fan of the Jeremy Lin story and really isn’t too happy with the media right now. What else is new with the Orlando Magic head coach? Van Gundy always gives his honest opinion to the media, and he seems sick and tired of the critics who believe Dwight Howard is mailing it in on the Orlando Magic.
The only point that can be made here is we’ll see how SVG is feeling in the event that Dwight Howard is traded at the NBA trade deadline before he becomes a free agent. In other words, stay tuned, folks.
Stan Van Gundy joined 790 The Ticket in Miami on The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz to discuss his reaction to Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s race comments toward Jeremy Lin, overlooking a bench player during his coaching career, the critics who say Dwight Howard has checked out mentally from the Orlando Magic, the issue that annoys him the most with the media, and never being able to criticize LeBron James for his play on the court.
What are your thoughts on Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s race comments toward Jeremy Lin?
“Well actually on that one I think that is ridiculous. I think the interest in Jeremy Lin…I don’t think it has anything to do with him being Asian. If this was a guy that wasn’t able to make a roster that was getting cut and in the D-League and then coming in and putting up phenomenal numbers – not just coming in and getting 10 or 12 points. This guy went from not being in the league to getting 38 in a game. This doesn’t happen every day. This would have been a huge story if the guy was of any race or any color, it would have been a great story. I think what adds to it is not that he is Asian, but that he came from the Ivy League, I think has a lot to do with it and is he being overhyped a little bit? Yeah maybe, but it is a great story. So far in a short lockout season this is the story of the year and I don’t think it has anything to do with him being Asian.”
What’s the greatest example in your past of a guy who you didn’t think could do much like a Jeremy Lin and then surprises you?
“Well Dan [LeBatard] I’ve never made a mistake before, so it would be hard for me [joking tone]. I don’t know. That is an interesting question. I hadn’t really thought about that. When you ask it off the top of my head? [Dan LeBatard: Could J.J. Reddick be that guy?] Well J.J.’s progression to me was a pretty normal progression of a guy that just kept getting better and he got more and more opportunity over time. It didn’t like all come at once like he was sitting on the bench and then he was playing 30 minutes a night. He sort of worked his way up and pretty much as…I think you can pretty much expect. I am sure it has happened to somebody that I haven’t played enough and gone somewhere else and really taken off, but off the top of my head I can’t think of it right now.’
Your answer to the person who says Dwight Howard isn’t connected to his team and has checked out mentally?
“Here’s the thing I have said about it and what we have to avoid and certainly what I think it can become is it becomes a very convenient excuse and when all of that talk went on it was when we were losing 5 out of 6. Then that came. When we started this year 11-4 there really wasn’t anyone saying that. Now that we have won 6 out of 8 with the two losses being in overtime people aren’t saying that, so what was it? He was connected for a while then he wasn’t connected? And now he is connected again? It gets almost ridiculous after awhile. You can have your opinion one way or another that. I’ll give everybody their opinion, but you can’t reasonably keep changing it by the results from week-to-week. Either he is connected with us or he is not. Form your own opinion and go from there.”
What is one thing in the media that annoys you more than anything else?
“Well I mean just what you were talking about before. They get the result first and then they go back as if they knew the guy’s demeanor on the sideline or something else and they would pull that out as a reason and an analysis and it’s ridiculous. It’s simply taking the results and then working backwards to make the story what you want it to be. “
What do you make of Larry Bird saying recently he would rather play with Kobe Bryant as a teammate than LeBron James?
“Well actually I think what he said was LeBron would be more fun to play with, but if you want to win you go with Kobe. Look I don’t understand why people, especially guys who have been through it like Larry Bird that have been great competitors – I understand why fans want to get into that stuff and the media maybe it is of interest. I have a hard time understanding why ex-players and people like that want to come out and be so critical of a guy who is so damn good and has had so much success. Be critical of the way he handles himself and the way he did the decision and things like that, but as far as his play? If we can be critical of LeBron James then there can’t be a player in the league you like.”