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May 21, 2012

Would blunt, intense Stan Van Gundy be the right fit for the Charlotte Bobcats?

The Charlotte Bobcats hiring Stan Van Gundy as their next coach would be great for me. I suspect the players wouldn’t enjoy him quite so much.

The Orlando Magic fired Van Gundy Monday is what seemed like a foregone conclusion from weeks ago. In a made-for-TV-moment, Van Gundy had told assembled media at a pre-game shoot-around that he knew superstar center Dwight Howard wanted him fired. Howard, not privy to what Van Gundy just said, sauntered up to his coach, theatrically embraced him, and asked where all this speculation started that he was railroading the coach.

Watching the look of shock on Howard’s mug, when he heard what Van Gundy just said, was classic. But it left Magic management with little option but to consider this a “Stan-or-Dwight, one’s got to go’’ dynamic. Booting the coach, even one who won 66 percent of his Magic games, was easier than further alienating the best big man in the NBA.

Van Gundy is a media joy – candid, available, articulate on subjects wide-and-far. I’d love to cover him, just to get 20 minutes a day to talk hoops, coaching, underclassman eligibility or the economy.

But the things that make Van Gundy a winner – intensity, persistence, a perfectionist’s demands – can grate on players over time.

Sports Illustrated annually does an anonymous survey of NBA players. This season one of SI’s questions was which coach would you want to play for least? Van Gundy topped the list, at 22 percent of respondents.

I bet Van Gundy couldn’t care less about that. He’d rather be respected than liked, and that quality makes him all the more worthy of respect.

The Bobcats interviewed Van Gundy once before, in 2007, before ultimately hiring Sam Vincent. I would think they’d want to interview him again, but I’m not sure they’ll get the chance. I hear indications Van Gundy might sit out next season, recharge, then re-enter the coaching market for the 2013-14 season.

Posted by Observer Sports on May 21, 2012 at 04:38 PM | Permalink


a resounding YES! I said that a month ago though.

Posted by: Shane P | May 21, 2012 5:00:34 PM

Would not be a fan of this hire. There has been plenty of talent to go through the Magic Kingdom, but it always seemed like the players never gave 100% for Van Gundy. Shaq and Howard both tuned the guy out. Have we forgotten about Howard and Jameer Nelson sitting on the bench while the team was in a huddle? When your stars tune a guy out, the rest of the team is sure to follow.

Posted by: Smitty | May 21, 2012 5:21:33 PM

NO! Stay away from that plump meat sausage...and that's just what is between his ears! This idiot is not a good coach; he was given very gifted players and did nothing with them. He certainly does not know how to motivate, especially when it comes to Dwight Howard. You really need a coach that knows how to handle each player and know the buttons to press.
Stan Van Gundy is a tool. Stay far away.

Posted by: Jalen Rose | May 21, 2012 5:31:30 PM

Did the price just go up for Hall Famer Patrick Ewing

Posted by: Jerome Benton | May 21, 2012 6:54:03 PM

hahaha Jalen, the first part of your post is funny but Stan is a good coach. To say he did nothing with his teams is asinine, the problem is more reflective of the players today, they grew up coddled and bottle fed, they think everything is owed to them and don't know how to react when their coach doesn't kiss their a$$.

Posted by: Shane P | May 21, 2012 7:08:47 PM

would not fit in with the Bobcats organization! He's just not an ass kissing yes man!

Posted by: joe cool | May 21, 2012 7:44:06 PM

any Van Gundy being at the helm anywhere is a nightmare. bunch of drama queens. more of that kind of crap we don't need.

Posted by: Brian | May 21, 2012 8:17:15 PM

Shane P, Van Gundy has been given so much talent on that roster and he has not known how to do jack with it. To your point, you certainly do not go AT players, or try the Bobby Knight method. You didn't do it in the 70's, the 80's or today, so don't give me this coddled bull shlitz! Coach Chuck Daly knew how to handle each and every personality on his ball club. Coach Daly understood the players are motivated and respond in different ways, and you do not act like some Azzhole micromanager.

Sorry, but I don't respect managers, bosses or coaches that have to act like big shots, in order to make up for their tiny peckers.

Posted by: Jalen Rose | May 21, 2012 9:12:16 PM

NBA players are grown men- not a bunch of young college kids. If players cannot motivate themselves or find someone among the team to be such a leader, they are flawed players. Coaches at this level should be managers and strategists- no more. Look at the Spurs. Popovich is a master planner/executer. But he and the organization did right to go and get a mature core of players who were professional enough to play hard and do their job.

Posted by: PantherD | May 22, 2012 8:41:09 AM

Agree 100% with Joe Cool! How's the glass business Joe?

Posted by: George Hanson | May 22, 2012 9:14:46 AM

Jalen, last night Shaq said that Stan was a good coach and we all remember what he said about him a few years back, he really doesn't like the guy. The problem people have with Stan is he's blunt and to the point, he doesn't sugar coat and to me this is why he'd be a perfect fit here, the worst team in NBA history needs someone like Stan to drive home his message. Time to whip these boys back into shape, last year was a joke and there's no excuse for it whatsoever!

Posted by: Shane P | May 22, 2012 9:21:38 AM

The Magic Management know Patrick Ewing. Dwight Howard likes Patrick Ewing. Patrick will work cheap (to get a first time chance at Head Coach). If the Magic does not hire him....it means they do not think him capable of being a good Head Coach (and they know him better than anybody). If he is available...the Bobcats should stay far, far away.

Posted by: Ron R | May 22, 2012 9:54:34 AM

Bobcats: Hire Stan, sign Jason Terry, try to get Pau Gasol and draft Anthony Davis. (Notice I said TRY to get Pau Gasol but that probably won't happen because the Bobcats have absolutely NO ONE to give in return to the Lakers because the Laker will not give up Gasol for free.) Still hire Stan!

Posted by: Phylicia | May 22, 2012 10:36:39 AM

When you hiring coaches, I think you have to look at the roster you have and attitude of the players on that roster. I think coaching a head case like Dwight is different than coaching guys who generally work hard together as a unit. It's like college coaches from small schools that make cinderella runs in tournaments! It's all about taking a group of outcasts and bringing them together. It takes a different kind of coach to work with a group like that than guys on a squad like the Pacers or Thunder, where Durant has been very willing to stay out of the limelight.

Posted by: Clay | May 22, 2012 12:12:18 PM

Leave the Mario Brothers clone for some other team. Given the teams he had he did not accomplish nearly enough. You can forget Phil Jackson completely overrated, he is definitely not a teacher or a builder of an organization he only gets involved in high probabillity of winnign situations the Bobcats do not even come close.

Posted by: TrueBBallFan | May 22, 2012 12:12:48 PM

Ron R: When a coach gets fired usually his staff does too. If the Magic don't want Ewing it's because they want to completely clean house with the coaching staff.

Posted by: apauldds | May 22, 2012 3:02:24 PM

So barkley is saying Ewing is ready to be head coach. Well he will be the first in line to critize mj if ewing fails as coach of the cats. He will claim Ewing as another friend of mj even if the hiring is being done by cho and higgins. Speaking of which I would like to hear from cho and higgins about who really is making the decisions. They need to clear the air!

Posted by: crymeariver | May 22, 2012 4:44:54 PM

So now the latest name is Jerry Sloan (personally I think it would be a good choice) but I really get the feeling that the final choice will be an assistant that has been interviewed or some other obscure choice and that these names are just to appease the fans to defuse the anger of the final choice. I can see Sam Vincent Round 2.

Posted by: TrueBBallFan | May 23, 2012 1:02:52 PM

Van gundy or sloan would be a dream, but I expect a reach of a hire.

McMillan doesn't feel like as much of a fit because he SHOULD be getting a ton of interest elsewhere. Sloan and svg less probably. Thus we're talking about them. If you want to reach on an assistant, hire sloan and an assistant that matches him. He only has a few years left in him but that would allow for less blood on the young assistant's hands.

As for all the players that hate van gundy, everybody outside of howard sure did go to bat for the guy the past several years. Howard just looked like the diva he is. I wouldn't trade diop for that dude unless it was for the purpose of trading howard immediately for someone else.

Van gundy hasn't had great teams and he's still won. He made turkoglu a 10 mil a year player. Ryan anderson and courtney lee house hold names. Maximized j.j. reddick. He had a ton of talent in miami with wade and shaq and co. But in orlando? A diva and some role players who played hard for him. Sounds like somebody ripe for this job.

Posted by: charlottean | May 23, 2012 3:29:38 PM

I believe Sloan's the guy, but Shaw wouldn't disappoint. Meanwhile, check this out...

Posted by: Trey Roof | May 24, 2012 1:55:39 PM

That was uninformed.

Comparing a 20 year olds physique and playing weight to a 29 year old is nuts. Do you want your starting center weighing 200? he was our starting center this year.

Did he miss games? Did he not run the floor? All that emotion coming from a bandwagon 3 year fan.

Posted by: charlottean | May 24, 2012 5:24:10 PM

Anyone who has ever watched a Magic huddle during a timeout within the last 2 seasons can tell you that those players checked out on SVG long ago. Does that mean that the Bobcats players would not listen to him? It's hard to say.

The Magic are a dysfunctional mess from the top down. Otis Smith was one of the worst GM's in the league and they kept him for 6 years before finally firing him this month. Van Gundy has been a lame duck for 2 years and they waited until a month after their season to get rid of him. D. Howard is on his way out--he looks like a head case, but you have to consider the environment he's been in for his entire professional career.

Van Gundy would probably benefit from a fresh start with a bunch of new players. Jerry Sloan has more pedigree but is a similar no-nonsense coach. Sloan would help bring credibility and focus to the team in a way that SVG probably could not, so he may be the better choice if the Bobs could get him.

Posted by: Deuce | May 24, 2012 5:33:13 PM

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