Two days after telling reporters that if the Orlando Magic fired him he would still go home and have a good day, Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy in an exclusive interview with the “Orlando Sentinel” on Saturday, said he wants to return as the bench boss for Orlando next season. The veteran head coach created headlines on Thursday morning when he confirmed an earlier report that All-Star center Dwight Howard wants him fired at the end of this campaign. Van Gundy told reporters Thursday that he had been informed of Howard’s request by members of the team’s upper management.
The Magic bench boss is under contract through next season, however his actions on Thursday may cause Team Owner Rich DeVos and CEO Alex Martins to bid farewell to Van Gundy and bring in a new coach next season. The coach told the paper “They’re going to have to make decisions. But I’m a basketball coach and I know this: I don’t want to go anywhere else. I mean, I love Orlando, and this is where I want to be. And I want to coach.”
With Van Gundy’s admission that he wants to remain with the club as head coach; it once again raises the question exactly what did he have in mind when he told reporters Thursday that he knew Howard had asked for him to be terminated. Although shortsighted, it made sense that Van Gundy wanted to get his last digs in on Howard before he was fired. However what would make him think that his statements on Thursday would give the club more incentive to bring him back for next season?
Is Van Gundy going through a “mid-life crisis” that instigated what seems to be erratic behavior? Or was this whole “crisis” manufactured, to try to take the focus off of the club’s poor play of late as they have lost their last five games in a row? The only thing we know is as Lewis Carroll wrote “Things keep getting curiouser and curiouser” in Orlando. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the coming weeks and months.