Jeff Van Gundy RIPS Orlando Magic Over Stan’s Firing – Transcript and Thoughts
Whether it was purely out of brother love or just the coaching brotherhood, Jeff Van Gundy was not going to go quiet over the way that the Magic went about firing Stan Van Gundy. In pure Van Gundy fashion, JVG dropped the following bombs on Stephen A. Smith’s radio show on ESPN New York.
Your thoughts on your brothers dismissal as coach of the Orlando Magic? What is the future of your brother Stan Van Gundy moving forward? “As you just said his coaching is beyond approach, so he doesn’t need me to defend him. At the same time teams throughout professionals sports they change coaches. Now how you go about it is important. For him to have been in the office all day and the President, Alex Martins, knows that he is there and let them leave and then he calls him on the phone to fire him? It’s unprofessional. It’s unprofessional. To hide behind the fact or try to make everyone believe that Dwight Howard didn’t have a part in this is absurd. Say listen we fired this guy because we know this our best chance to keep Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard and I decided to fire him.To do anything else is playing a game of semantics. It really is. Third at the press conference that they hold to be going on and on how difficult of a day it is for you personally, Alex Martins to fire people? He does this every time he fires somebody at the Magic with countless disregard at how it impacts people that he just fired. Now my brother is fine financially, but he has uprooted so many other lives that to force…you want sympathy and empathy because you have it hard? Countless disregard for what normal Americans are going through. He’s fired many people there and he always comes up with the same thing that it’s been a tough day on me without any regards for their feelings. Finally and this is the biggest one to me he said that my brother is the finest ‘X and O’ coach he has been around in his 25 years in the business. Okay listen [Alex Martins] all you have done in your 25 years in the business is release press releases and run the business side. You don’t know if a ball is blown up or stuffed. You don’t know if the pick and role coverage on the side is right or wrong. Just say that I have no knowledge about basketball. It’s offensive when someone who has no knowledge about basketball even in a positive comment tries in those ways to sort of negate what Brian Hill did as a coach or what Matt Guokas did as a coach. He doesn’t know one thing about basketball so please hold off your comments on my brothers expertise since you know nothing about basketball.” -Quote via Sports Radio Interviews.
You can listen to the full interview here.
Three main sections stand out to me:
1) For him to have been in the office all day and the President, Alex Martins, knows that he is there and let them leave and then he calls him on the phone to fire him? It’s unprofessional.
Look, this isn’t your local Old Navy. You don’t fire your greatest coach in franchise history over the phone. IF true, that is classless.
2) Say listen we fired this guy because we know this our best chance to keep Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard and I decided to fire him.To do anything else is playing a game of semantics.
This is a rather unfair statement by JVG. Everyone knows that if Dwight and Stan got along happily and merrily that this wouldn’t have happened. However, you can’t just say that 100% that is the only reason. While I still think it was a terrible mistake by the Magic to fire Stan, I cannot unequivocally say that there weren’t reasons that would be cause for a change. Don’t state the obvious and then make it sound like some sort of absurd statement.
3) Finally and this is the biggest one to me he said that my brother is the finest ‘X and O’ coach he has been around in his 25 years in the business. Okay listen [Alex Martins] all you have done in your 25 years in the business is release press releases and run the business side.
Come on now Jeff… Now you are just getting personal. Uncalled for shots. Alex Martins has risen to his position as President of the Orlando Magic because he is SMART and TALENTED. Just because Alex can’t draw up a game-winning play with 2.8 seconds on the clock doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand basketball. And further, his job is NOT to know the X’s and O’s. His job is to make the best personnel decisions that maintain the long-term health and success of the Orlando Magic. It doesn’t take Coach K to understand that your star player and star coach have been butting heads for years.
Look, I love Jeff Van Gundy. I think he is hilarious and I love his candor. In this instance, he is just flat wrong. He loves every coach that ever lived and he certainly loves his brother. Credibility on this subject, is severely lacking.
With all that being said… PLEASE GOD, SOMEONE GIVE JEFF AND STAN THEIR OWN TV SHOW!