This isn’t much of a shocker, but the timing is a bit weird. The Orlando Magic have officially fired head coach Stan Van Gundy and parted ways with GM Otis Smith. Of course this means the team has decided to side with their superstar center Dwight Howard after the big man refused to play until the team fired Van Gundy.
Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith are out as Orlando Magic head coach and GM. Dwight Howard is reportedly the leading candidate to replace both.
— Robin Lundberg (@robinlundberg) May 21, 2012
Stan Van Gundy has been fired. In other news, the sky is blue, water is wet, and Chris Bosh is soft.
— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) May 21, 2012
Orlando Magic fire Stan Van Gundy. Otis Smith won't return either. Dwight Howard…you are a clown.
— ™M∆rcus (@TheMisterMarcus) May 21, 2012
Firing Stan Van Gundy would be a boss move if Dwight Howard weren't going to go Brooklyn anyway. SVG may have a new gig playing Super Mario.
— PJ Kinzer (@CivilWarSyndrom) May 21, 2012
Stan Van Gundy fired. Dwight Howard will still skip town eventually.
— Brad Wolff (@brad_wolff) May 21, 2012
Orlando Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins announced the news on Orlando Magic’s official website.
“On behalf of the DeVos Family, we sincerely appreciate and thank Otis and Stan for all that they have done on and off the floor for the Orlando Magic,” said Martins. “These are the days you dread in this business, but we feel it’s time for new leadership and new voices.
“They both brought die-hard dedication and an unmatched work ethic on a daily basis,” added Martins. “Their success is well documented, as the Orlando Magic has had the fourth best record in the NBA over the last five years, and entering the playoffs this year the third most playoff wins over that period of time. The disappointment of getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs these past two seasons played a primary role in our decision, as we feel our momentum towards winning a championship has paused. We wish Otis and Stan all the best and we look forward to taking the next step towards winning that championship.”
While he has had trouble getting along with NBA superstars, nearly everyone agrees that Stan Van Gundy is a great NBA coach. Nobody expects him to be without work for too long.
Plan for the Clippers: Step 1, hire Stan Van Gundy. Step 2, remember how to not ignore your coach. Step 3, win. #NBA
— Van Jensen (@van_jensen) May 21, 2012
Stan Van Gundy would be a sensible hire for the reshuffled Wizards.
— K L Chouinard (@AnaheimAmigos) May 21, 2012
Stan Van Gundy is now available. OK Lakers, hire him before game 5 if you want to stand any chance at all!
— Matt Walker (@funnymatt) May 21, 2012
Wizards need to hire Stan Van Gundy or Nate McMillan ASAP….
— Mr. ManSitChoAzzDown (@AngryBlkManDC) May 21, 2012
Jordan should hire Stan Van Gundy to Bobcats, not PE. Sorry, they need seasoned coach right now. #RealTalkNBATweet
— The Abstract Poet (@TonySpr1996) May 21, 2012
I'm not saying anything about Reggie Miller; I'm just saying TNT should hire Stan Van Gundy immediately.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) May 21, 2012
Stan Van Gundy just got fired by the Orlando Magic. Dumb move, Howard is gonna leave anyway. Clippers should hire Van Gundy…
— Angels Nation (@Angels_Nation) May 21, 2012
As you can see, almost every team would like to have Van Gundy as their head coach. Heck, even fans of the Miami Heat would love to have him back!
Well, okay. Maybe just ONE fan.
Still, you almost have to feel sorry for the coach.
Feel sorry for Stan Van Gundy. It wasn't Riley who pushed him out of Miami, it was that cancer, Shaq. Now Dwight Howard screws him too #nba
— Ra (@Ra__) May 21, 2012
Stan Van Gundy fired from the Orlando Magic. I'm sorry, but Dwight Howard is NOT that good for great coaches to be fired over
— I'm Swaggy C who r u (@Ridiculous_Hair) May 21, 2012
Sorry Stan Van Gundy. You shouldn't have been Fired.
— Isaac Hayes III (@IsaacHayes3) May 21, 2012
Feel sorry for Stan Van Gundy. He didn't deserve to be fired. Blame it on Dwight Howard. #shame
— Browning Stubbs (@BrowningStubbs) May 21, 2012
Stay strong, Stan! Hopefully you’ll find another job soon.