Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
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 [Orlando CEO Alex] 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.”
“I’ll take my share of the blame and management needs to take theirs,” he said.
Van Gundy said the way the Magic handled the Howard drama “wasn’t good.”
“The Dwight thing was so big….in an effort, I guess, to make Dwight happy and everything else, we compromised a lot of the culture and values we had before that. It’s always a mistake when you compromise those things…everything goes South. It was no longer a team-first thing,” he said. “It was inevitable things would not go as well.”
One reason people love Stan Van Gundy so much is that he rarely minces words. And these words are quite un-minced. He’s basically pinning the entire debacle, and by association the blockbuster trade that sent Dwight to the Lakers and Andrew Bynum to the 76′ers, on Alex Martins.
And I’m betting that, to an extent, he’s right.
Dwight Howard might be the NBA’s biggest baby (in size, and in immaturity). He cost two people their jobs (though I think it was time for Otis Smith to leave) by inexplicably giving up his early termination option instead of just leaving Orlando on his own as a free agent this summer and sparing us all this BS. He held his team hostage…. for what? For paying him a ton of money? For consistently being in the playoffs? For acquiescing to his whims and letting him be the kid he was?
Someone tell me the difference between Dwight’s behavior and that of a spoiled kid throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store? And who allowed that?
Not Stan. That’s allowed by a management and ownership that is so afraid their star will leave, that they try to give him everything he wants in an effort to keep him. But that rarely works. It didn’t work for LeBron. It didn’t work for Dwight. And now the end result, again, is the league seeming bending over backwards to hand Los Angeles a mega-star center for less than it should have paid.
Yes, Stan screwed a few things up too. But Stan’s job was compromised, and once that happens, it’s tough to make the right moves. I’ve never fully agreed with Stan Van Gundy’s coaching decisions. I feel like he mis-used Howard a bit and relied way too much on playing outside-in rather than inside-out… but I always thought he handled his team well. He’s a tell-it-like-it-is guy who should have no problem getting another job, even if some owners might feel put off by this “honest assessment” of the Dwight Howard situation.
Alex Martins made this mess, now it’s up to the rest of the league to deal with the fall out every time they play the Sixers or Lakers.
The rest of the links: ESPN Boston: Summer Forecast: Bench boost?