Stan Van Gundy on Dwight Howard trade: “Our organization didn’t handle it very well. We probably deserve a lot of what happened.”August 15, 2012 – 10:15 am by Steven Cuce
The Orlando Magic have been turned upside down since the end of the 2011-12 regular season. Stan Van Gundy was fired after the season concluded and the whole matter was not handled very well by the Magic’s front office. Van Gundy took the fall while the front office of the Magic were held hostage by Dwight Howard’s trade demands. Well Howard finally got his wish last week and now the Magic are a completely different team with a new head coach.
Stan Van Gundy joined 790 The Ticket in Miami with Jonathan Zaslow and Hoch to discuss feeling badly for the Orlando Magic players who had to deal with the Dwight Howard trade rumors, the Magic locker room not being as bad as it was perceived to be by the media during the Dwight Howard trade saga, making sense of Dwight Howard’s urge to stay and then leave the Orlando Magic, his next career move and not wanting to go into broadcasting with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy.
How do you feel about the fallout from everything that has happened in Orlando? Are you frustrated? Relieved?
“Well I’d like to have a job. That’d be nice. That’s not a great feeling. We just got caught up in a bad situation and our organization didn’t handle it very well. Because of that I would say we probably deserve a lot of what happened as an organization and certainly not the other players. I thought those guys…I felt badly for them, a group that worked hard and was very professional all year long and didn’t deserve everything that happened, but from our organization especially the people at the very top it just wasn’t handled very well, so you get what you deserve.”
Did you go home and say I can’t believe how bizarre this is being played out with Dwight Howard?
“No. Not really. Look there’s always something going on in the NBA. I think when you are in the season you are just sort of dealing with things day-to-day and the next practice and the next game and everything else, so no there is always issues. That was our issue this year and we dealt with it. Quite honestly we were dealing with it very well with everything that was going on until Dwight Howard went out and obviously we lost our best player. We were playing very well. We had the 3rd best record in the East and the 5th best record in the league and we’re playing well. Then when he [Dwight Howard] went down quite honestly we struggled. He was sort of our guy and we didn’t play as well after that, but I thought we were still pretty competitive in everything else. It wasn’t as bad inside our team and inside the locker room as it was out in the media.”
Can you give us any clarity on why Dwight Howard demanded to be traded and then said he would stay and then after the season concluded he wanted to be traded again?
“Well, I think it confuses everyone. It confuses all of us. I was a little bit surprised at the time. Look I think Dwight Howard is a guy, who likes his teammates, enjoys the camaraderie of the locker room and he’s gotta realize you are in season making that decision and the guys you are with every single day are your teammates. It’s also…the timing of it is we were also out on the road at that time and just played San Antonio, so it’s not like he’s going home after practice or something else. He is with his teammates all day and sort of got wrapped up in that and just decided hey I want to…I might as well just finish this season in Orlando and he opted in, but at the same time I don’t think his desire to leave at some point ever left him, so it was more I think to finish the year in Orlando.
What’s your next move? Are you going to get back into coaching?
“Well I don’t know about that. I think there is consideration. I certainly have that itch. No question. But there’s also considerations in this business if you are going to do that you are going to have to pick up your family and move them somewhere else in the country. Next year I’ll have three in high school. It’s a tough time to be moving everybody, so it may be awhile, but we will see.”
You would be a tremendous edition to the broadcast booth with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy:
“Yeah I don’t think that is going to happen. I think those guys have got a pretty good chemistry there going on and I wouldn’t want to mess with that, but we’ll see what opportunities are out there and see if there’s something that works and be fun and keep me a little bit busy, but I think those two guys are pretty settled in doing what they do and they do it very, very well.”
Listen to Stan Van Gundy on 790 The Ticket in Miami here [Interview begins at the 1:34:00 mark of the podcast]