Magic will make change
Of course Stan Van Gundy won't keep his job with the Magic, and he's coaching them in name only now, simply collecting checks until someone, perhaps his "source" in the front office, puts him out of his misery by issuing him his sought-after golden pink slip.
The Magic will do what seemingly every team in sports does, go from a hard-driving coach to an easygoing type in a bid to change the culture and appease the restless. It will fail, of course, with Dwight Howard's moodiness further setting back the franchise.
The real issue is whether Howard will be playing for the Magic next season.
For now, Stan will coach, Dwight will tune out, and the locker room will remain fractured.
If Howard stays, he goes
Dwight Howard might have a better chance of serving as player-coach than Stan Van Gundy has of returning to run the Magic. This is what happens when a franchise is held hostage by an immature, non-committed man-child. Nobody doubts Howard's basketball skill. Everyone doubts his basketball smarts if he can't recognize Van Gundy is one of the best things happening to his career.
Van Gundy is a very good coach. He's also honest, which is why this messy saga stands where it does now. Van Gundy shouldn't have talked about private conversations with upper management, but his honesty — and fatigue from dealing with Howard — forced him to do so.
Now, there's no way he can be back unless Howard is traded at the draft.
A matter of when, not if
The better question might be, will Stan Van Gundy be coaching the Magic next week?
If the Magic continue their most recent slide, the club might have to make a change regardless of the latest Dwight Howard drama.
While Orlando is the NBA's most-watched reality show this season, the team's performance might have to be addressed. Management will have to assess whether the Magic are still responding to Van Gundy. The club has been put through the wringer, starting with Howard's trade demand.
The Magic can't continue this way, meaning at some point, they will be, unfortunately, looking for another coach given Howard re-upped for another season.
Departing with dignity
Los Angeles Times
Fare thee well, Stan Van Gundy.
Your career has been in choppy waters for a while now, courtesy of Dwight Howard and his "people." It has been taking on water. It is on its way down.
But you decided to blast a hole in the hull by being honest. Now, Howard is the bad guy and you're the victim. Now, if the organization needed an "out" to get rid of you, it has one. Now, you can leave on your own terms. Now, you win. This is a star player's league and if it's any coach versus Howard, well, Howard will always win. That's what the NBA has become. Van Gundy isn't special. He's drawing his final paychecks. But he'll leave with his dignity. Credit him for that.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun