A quick inventory of Orlando would show a brand-new coach in Jacque Vaughn, a new GM in Rob Hennigan and a roster that has been overhauled. Out are Dwight Howard, the cause of those roster changes, and former coach Stan Van Gundy was fired in the spring. Who is the constant, then? Van Gundy pointed the finger in comments today toward CEO Alex Martins, who has been in house for all of the team’s highs and lows of the Howard/SVG era, as the problem. And he did not hold back.
To the radio show of Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi, Van Gundy said:
“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 lockeroom….it’s a naivete,” Van Gundy said of Martins Monday morning on Mike Bianchi’s show on AM 740.
“….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.”
He said later in the interview that the team culture changed when Martins took over for Bob Vander Weide last offseason. (Vander Weide had his own drama-filled exit after calling Howard last offseason at 1 a.m. to consider staying. Vander Weide admitted to having a couple glasses of wine before calling.) “When Bob left, it really became Alex over everything,” Van Gundy said Monday.
Just last week Van Gundy said he was more or less OK with his relationship with Dwight Howard. It worked “very, very well” according to the deposed coach. Today he backtracked and said that they did have disputes. Understandable. So is getting the frustration off your chest after being fired despite the success Van Gundy had. But maybe, for the sake of him coaching again — which I want very much to happen given his honesty and ability — SVG might consider curbing the Orlando detonation.
What do you think?
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