Tag:Stan Van Gundy
Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:34 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 4:34 pm
 

Now introducing "The Van Gundy Rule"

Posted by Royce Young

In 2005, the NBA instituted a dress code for its players to go by and it caused quite a stir. Some called it racist, some called it stupid and some actually thought it was a good idea.

In the end, the controversy dissolved and now everyone seems fine with players arriving wearing a nice pair of corduroy pleated slacks with a tasteful two-button mauve tweed jacket. (I have no idea anything in that last sentence actually is.)

Now, the dress code has moved to include coaches.

Some of the NBA's top sideline wanderers had started taking advantage of the lax dress code rules, one being Stan Van Gundy and his mock turtlenecks. Well, the NBA has had enough of those. Now, coaches are required to wear collared shirts on the sidelines. (Nothing was mentioned about pants, so I assume it's still acceptable to show up bottomless?)

“I want them to at least name the rule after me,” Van Gundy said in an AP story. “Somebody has their Bird rights. Larry Bird got that rule named after him. I want it to be the Van Gundy Rule.”

The new rule is just a partial change for Van Gundy who has slimmed down a little this offseason by participating in some of the drills - like sprints - insted of barking at his players while they do them. “More like sprits ,” Dwight Howard joked.

“You should have seen me run,” Van Gundy said in the AP story. “I don’t think you call those sprints. I don’t know what it was, but that was far from sprints. That was a 51-year-old, overweight sprint.”

Regardless, now Van Gundy will be ready to wear a suit, collared shirt and possibly even a tie for the new coach's dress code rule. I don't think it'll stir up quite the same controversy the player's code did, but that's mainly because the main offender has already been reeled in.

Posted on: September 28, 2010 3:44 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 3:45 pm
 

Heat Stroke: SVG talks Heat, and we listen

Posted by Royce Young

If at any point this season all the Miami Heat talk starts to get stagnant with boring quotes and a bunch of standard answers of, "They're a great team blah blah blah," have no fear. Just run to the bank of good Heat quotes that is located in Orlando.

Stan Van Gundy has never been one to hold back on what he thinks and yesterday at media day, you can be sure he talked as much about his fellow Floridian team as he did his own. And of course he, and a few other Magic personell, provided today's ridiculous Heat item of the day:

"ESPN is like 'all Heat, all the time,'" Van Gundy told Tim Povtak of FanHouse. "This isn't about us getting together for training camp and the theme is we have to beat the Heat. That's ridiculous. There are a lot of good teams. They aren't the standard bearer.''

But the good stuff from Orlando didn't stop there. Magic general manager Otis Smith said, "They've got a good three (players). I've got a good 12. We're as deep as any team in the league, probably deeper,'' said Magic general manager Otis Smith. "They've got three, and we're solid 1-12. Until they start playing the games, it's just a team on paper."

Smith was told that 99 percent of the analysts are picking the Heat to win the East, he quipped, "I'm in that one percent then ... Boston won the East last year, and the rest of us finished second. They might beat us 3-4 times during the regular season, but once the playoffs start, it's a different ball game."

That right there, is called bulletin board material. Or if you're LeBron James, mental note material.
Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:31 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 2:41 pm
 

Magic will do what it takes to extend Howard

Magic will do whatever it takes to re-sign Howard, but All-Star Center follows the LeBron formula for keeping leverage.
Posted by Matt Moore


This summer is going to have long-lasting effects on the NBA that go well beyond the careers of the players who actually switched teams. It's going to affect how teams treat their expiring stars, increasing the amount of panic they experience and allowing players to extract every ounce of leverage in the negotiations. Sure, the money is going to be the same. The max is the max (barring some massive changes in the CBA this summer). But there are things that have to do with personnel, direction, and perks that players can squeeze out with the threat of "LeBroning" their team.

Such is the problem the Orlando Magic face. The Orlando Sentinel reports today that Magic General Manager Otis Smith said he has every intention of locking up Howard before he hits free agency , by signing him this summer before his expiring year. In regards to giving Howard the kind of contract he wants?

"Of course we will," said Smith, when asked if he'll approach Howard with a contract of his choosing. "We want Dwight to be in a Magic uniform for as long as he plays basketball."

But Howard, naturally, followed the script for free agents with a contract expiratioin in sight (outside of Derrick Rose, who's apparently just a sweetheart). He said he loved Orlando and that he planned on being there forever. But of course, wouldn't say he'll sign. That one little step short, where you keep the fans happy but let the organization know you expect to be treated the way you want to. That goes for everything from coaching to personnel to team policies. These are the kinds of things Howard can control. He's also giving himself an out if the next two years don't go so well.

Imagine that Vince Carter falls off the production cliff as age catches up with him and Rashard Lewis has another slight downturn. SVG starts to lose the locker room and all of a sudden the Magic have a disappointing season. Howard is going to keep that free agency possibility in his pocket as long as he has to to make sure the Magic continue to put him in a position to contend. Now, sure, the more likely scenario is the Magic have an Eastern Conference Finals run or better in them this season and everything looks up, he may commit. He genuinely loves the team, the city, and the organization. Being that kind of hero probably appeals to his temperament. But he's going to maintain his position, the same position LeBron James and Chris Bosh held at this point in their career. Always saying the right things without saying the thing that locks you in. This summer was all about players getting what they want how they want, when they want. And it sounds like Dwight Howard will be following that formula to a T.
Posted on: September 27, 2010 1:24 am
Edited on: September 27, 2010 1:24 am
 

Preseason Primer: Magic

Posted by Royce Young

The team holding training camp at a military base a couple hundred miles north will hog the attention in Florida this year, but still, the Orlando Magic have a roster built to compete for the Eastern title. The team returns almost entirely intact and welcomes in just a couple of role-playing faces. Dwight Howard enters his seventh year as a pro and is looking to push his team over the hump. The Magic's window might be closing with some of their player's aging, but coming in, they look primed to be in the middle of it all in the East.

Training camp site:
Orlando, FL

Training camp starts: Sept. 28

Key additions: Quentin Richardson (free agent), Chris Duhon (free agent), Daniel Orton (draft)

Key subtractions: Matt Barnes (free agent)

Likely starting lineup: Jameer Nelson, PG; Vince Carter, SG; Mickael Pietrus, SF; Rashard Lewis, PF; Dwight Howard, C

Player to watch: The easy answer here is Dwight Howard. Around him, all things function in Orlando. But the guy to keep an eye on is Vince Carter. He had somewhat of a down season last year, but he's coming into this camp kicking off a contract year. So the thinking would be that he'll be more focused, in better shape and as prepared as ever. J.J. Redick could potentially push him a bit for his starting spot so Carter has got to be ready to hit the ground running.

Chemistry quiz: The Magic will be answering one common question during training camp and really during the entire season - What do you think about the Heat? Stan Van Gundy isn't someone to mince words, nor is Howard. Not that it'll cause a rift among the actual team, but it's certainly possible - nay, probable - that someone says something that catches some attention and headlines. Maybe Orlando wants the focus, maybe they want to provide some bulletin board material. But there's no doubt that some off-court stuff will definitely jump into the picture during camp.

Camp battles: As mentioned, it's possible that Redick could push Carter. Van Gundy is a coach that likes defense and Redick has come a long way on that end. He can shoot, which is something the Magic like. And now he's playing hard and defending. Carter obviously still is a great athlete that can explode any night, but if there's any sign he's dogging it, Van Gundy may decide to go with the young guy.

Another position to keep an eye on is power forward. Brandon Bass has been pretty vocal about wanting more playing time. But still, Ryan Anderson figures to be in front of him on the depth chart. Not only could that be a chemistry issue, but it'll definitely be a camp battle to watch.

Biggest strength: Everything hinges around Howard. The drive and kick is Orlando's bread and butter and it's there because of the rock anchoring the inside. The Magic don't really have a hole to fill as long as everyone is clicking and working together. The bench is solid, the starting five is quality and there's a star that can handle the spotlight.

Glaring weakness: One dimensionality. I think I just made that word up, but Orlando can become one dimensional in a hurry. And they can do it in a variety of ways. What I mean is that the issue varies from game to game. Sometimes, they commit far too much to pounding Howard down low to the point of forcing it. Other times, they shoot too many 3s too early in the shot clock. The Magic have an identity: They want to use Howard for attention and let their athletic guards drive and create open outside looks. And then defend on the other end. But sometimes, they sure don't execute it. When they do, they're as good as anyone. When they don't, they equally as beatable.
Posted on: September 17, 2010 4:12 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2010 5:07 pm
 

Pop Quiz: Has Orlando's window closed?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

As Courtney Lee hung in the air, anticipating the incoming lob for a last second shot in the NBA Finals, he likely didn't know anything of what would happen as a result in the next 1.5 seconds. He would miss the alley-oop, a nearly impossible shot that he deserves credit for simply for managing to execute. He would wind up traded to New Jersey which would go on to be one of the worst teams in NBA history, then be traded to Houston. The Magic would swap out Hedo Turkoglu for an upgrade at shooting guard in Vince Carter. And the Magic's best chance at an NBA championship would be snuffed out.

So the question has to be: Does Orlando still have a window open to win an NBA championship?

It sounds absurd. After all, the team won 59 games last season, good for second in the East. They stomped their way to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second season in a row. Dwight Howard enters the season at only 24 years old. Jameer Nelson has a promising career in front of him. They have depth. Stan Van Gundy is considered one of the better coaches in the league. How could their window be closed?

The concern comes down to a number of tangible concerns, and one that relates to the ephemeral nature of windows in the NBA.

In the tangible, the biggest glaring problem is quite simply the other teams in the league. When Orlando ousted Boston in 2009, it was thought to be a death sentence on Boston's lockhold on the East. But Celtic players and fans who thought the only reason Orlando advanced was Kevin Garnett's injury that year were validated last season when the Green stomped the Blue with defense and intensity. Not helping matters on that front is the improved center depth for the Celtics, who now feature Jermaine O'Neal and Shaquille O'Neal to combat Dwight Howard along with Kendrick Perkins.

Then of course, there's that nasty Miami issue. With the Heat not only taking a giant step forward, but playing in Miami's division, things get considerably harder for the Magic.

But those are outside matters. The real issue for Orlando in trying to make it back to the Finals and compete is that they seem to have detonated the special formula that got them there in the first place. Vince Carter had a handful of terrific great games for the Magic but also brought all the questions about toughness and clutch ability. And he seemed a tremendous step back from what Hedo Turkoglu had given them, regardless of Turkoglu's age and diminishing skill. Chemistry for that team was shaky. It seemed inconsistent and incomplete, like there were tensions bubbling under, in contrast to the 2009 team which seemed to hum like a finely tuned engine.

Finally there's the nature of championship windows themselves for small-market teams. A large market team like the Lakers can contend for a decade if they keep egos in check. They can stay in the conversation as long as their top elite player is around and healthy. But we've seen it often in the past. A smaller market team has what is considered a great team, pushes the elite team in their conference, but is unable to reach the summit. The Magic tinkered with what worked, which is often a big no-no in sports. Turkoglu may have been on the downside of his career and not as talented as Vince Carter, but the Magic were better with him running point forward in the halfcourt set.

Think of what they need in order to return to the championship if they don't make a major trade this season. They need Carter to play better than he did last season, have everyone stay healthy, repeat last year's performance, then overcome Boston's defense and Miami's starpower... just to make the Finals where barring a gigantic upset they'll then face the same Lakers team that overwhelmed them two years ago. Orlando's ownership group has commendably committed money to the team as it enters a new arena with a contending team. But unless it takes a major step back up the ladder, it may just be spinning its expensive wheels as the rest of the league continues to stay one step ahead of them.

Orlando will be good. But barring Dwight Howard becoming one of the most dominant offensive players in the league or massive injuries to both Miami and Boston, there's little evidence to believe they'll be good enough to be considered a real title contender.
Posted on: September 10, 2010 5:03 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2010 5:12 pm
 

Pat Riley wants you off the Heat's back

Heat president fires back at critics.
Posted by Matt Moore


Pat Riley's mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore. Well, okay, he's probably going to take it but he's going to be really snarky about it in the press. Riley today spoke with reporters for the first time since pulling off the coup d'etat he managed back in July. In an interview with Ira Winderman of the Miami Sun-Sentinel , Riley fired back at all the people who have been taking pot shots in public towards the Miami Triad and Riley's new superpower.

A few tasty cuts from Riley's fatty cow of incredulity:
  • "Charles Barkley, to me, went way over the top," Riley said. "I think Charles is probably the only guy in the league that can get away with what he gets away with.
  • "Stan (Van Gundy)'s out there making comments about Chris Bosh being a lap dog to Dwyane Wade," Riley said. "I don't know what happened to some of these guys along the way."
  • "I take a little bit of umbrage from some of the things that came from people in our game," he said.
There's a lot more in Winderman's piece, but that gives you a sense for how Riley's feeling. There's going to be a lot more of this stuff over the next nine months, so prepare yourself. Until the world becomes accustomed to the new reality the Heat have made for themselves, and process whatever catharsis they need to if the Heat win or if they lose, this is what we'll be dealing with. The anger of the decisions. The reaction to the anger. The reaction to the anger over the reactions to the anger. Ad nauseum. This is the universe that has been made, with everyone taking a side on whether this is being overly criticized or if it really is indicative of a downfall in character.

The character issue is perhaps the most stunning. Sacrifice is most commonly referred to in hushed tones, and with reverence. But for some reason, the Triad doesn't come off as sacrifice at all. Instead it reflects in many people's eyes as weakness, excuse-making, celebrity-chasing. The answer is likely somewhere in between.

Riley had to expect this, though. Especially from Van Gundy. Asking "what happened" to Van Gundy? Pat Riley did. And Barkley taking strong sides is nothing new. But this is just the beginning. Every loss to a major team will be played as a revelation that this team isn't ready to really sacrifice and play together. Every win will be dismissed unless it's in the Finals, and then it will simply be discussed as "They should win! They have the talent!"

This is the cost of pulling off something like Riley did. There will be fame, popularity, wins, and money. Lots of money. But there will also continue to be people dead set against the Heat. Riley needs to accept it and let these pot shots keep coming. That motivation is what the Heat need more than anything, the drive to go out and destroy everyone who's dismissed, insulted, or marginalized what they've done and who they are.

"The Decision" is over. The fallout will continue for months, maybe years.
Posted on: August 27, 2010 4:10 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 5:32 pm
 

Dwight Howard on movies, the Heat, and tennis

Dwight Howard will be a guest coach at Gatorade's Replay event in Chicago on September 10th, and we'll be bringing you some interviews from their experience. Beforehand, though, CBSSports.com's NFL Facts and Rumors blogger Will Brinson talked to Dwight Howard on the phone about the event, dealing with the Heat hype, and being a movie star in China. Best of all, Will was able to get Howard to do a Stan Van Gundy impression so well, we've embedded the audio below the interview. Enjoy.




CBS: You got Replay 3 coming up -- I'm actually a two-time veteran, gonna try and make it up there -- are you excited to see how Gatorade got these guys trained and ready to taste redemption [laughing] … or something like that?

DH: Aw, man, I'm ready for those guys to get on the court and play the game. They've been training the last five weeks and the Gatorade Sports Science team has really put them on a good diet -- they've been training the right way, eating the right way, doing everything the right way. My guys are ready: they're in shape. We ran them yesterday and they got a little upset because I made them run, but you know.

CBS: Do you think you have any tactical advantage over the other side -- I mean, Dwyane Wade is the other honorary coach so do you think you're the better tactician?

DH: I think we're gonna win. I think we're gonna win the game, because we have the big fell on our team. He's about 6'5" which is big in high school -- he's about 6'5", 6'6" and he's a big strong guy and he plays overseas now. He's actually Quentin Richardson's first cousin.

CBS: Nice, nice … what about you, if you could pick any game from your illustrious career so far, what game would it be?

DH: High school. One game against Sebatian Telfair -- we lost the game supposedly by the buzzer, but he hit the shot with like 5 seconds left, and I ran up to the ref and I was calling timeout but the ref was so hyped that he hit the shot that he was jumping up and down and yelling and he didn't call timeout and we lost the game, so yeah, I'd love to play that game again.

CBS: The Magic didn't have any major roster changes over the summer like you guys did last year -- do you think that's a good thing?

DH: Yeah, I think it's a good thing. The more and more we build as a team the better we'll be. The team that went to the [NBA] Finals, I think that's why we were so effective -- we had great chemistry and everyone knew their roles and what they needed to do and that's just gonna make our team better this year.

CBS: Are you guys motivated by people constantly discussing a certain other team in Florida who shall remain unnamed because it's so early in the morning?

DH: [Laughing] We understand that it's gonna be there all year -- they hype surrounding the Miami Heat. You know, the team that they have, they should have a lot of hype. But I've been on teams where we had a lot of great players and we didn't win when it counted -- so it's not about who you have on a team in terms of stars and big names, it's about how that team plays together and what they can accomplish as a team.

CBS: Stan Van Gundy's one of my favorite … I'd put him in front of a microphone all day if I could. What's your favorite Stan Van Gundy quote?

DH: Stan Van Gundy quote …

CBS: Or your favorite line, whatever.

DH: Well before every practice, he goes "GET THIS IN YOUR MIND" [Ed Note: This impersonation is nearly as amazing as Brinson's cackling is awkward, which is why we've embedded it below.] And he's acting like he's cranking his mind up: "I WANT YOU GUYS TO GET THIS IN YOUR MIND!"

CBS: [Still laughing] That's a pretty good SVG impersonation, man. Wanna ask about your summer -- you're not doing Team USA, but you've still got a lot going on. You're in this movie -- a Chinese movie called "Amazing" with Carmelo Anthony -- how'd that come about?

DH: Well, I love acting and the NBA asked me to come to China and film a movie and I was there for four or five days. I had a lot of speaking parts in the movie and it was very fun -- I enjoyed it a lot and actually the director wants to write a script so I can come back and do another movie.

CBS: Almost seems like the "Summer of Dwight" really -- you've got India, Israel and China on the books for travel, right?

DH: Yup, I've been all over the place -- it's been great. Basketball's opened up a lot of doors for me …

CBS: What's the coolest thing you saw this summer?

DH: That's a good question. I've been to China like nine times, so just going there is always fun for me. I guess the last time I went they had an expo there and it was all the countries and built this one big brand building to represent their country and it was just an amazing site to see. And there were like 500,000 people there a day so it was just crazy.

CBS: Have you spent any more time since June working with Hakeem Olaujuwon?

DH: Well, all I really needed was that one session. We wanted to get back together, but it's very tough -- he stays in Jordan during the summer. But he sent me the tape of my workout and I've been doing some of the things on the tape, but the biggest thing was the footwork, just learning the footwork and the small little things to add to my game.

CBS:   Brandon Marshall and Donovan McNabb recently made some jokes about playing in the NBA -- my buddy Matt Moore and I had a big discussion about this and didn't think either could make the team. If you had to play another sport, what would it be?

DH: Ummmmm .

CBS: Golfer? Tennis? Football?

DH: Tennis is the first thing that came to my mind. I think I'd be pretty good at it -- being a good server, but also slams -- I played tennis growing up. And I played football so I'd probably do one of those things. Or I'd do track

CBS: Alright, good deal … get you out on this one -- you're known as Superman no matter what Shaquille O'Neal says, so if you had to pick one super power to have, what would it be?

DH: Sort of like the Midas touch but it would be where -- I like changing people's lives, so the ability to change people's lives … sort of like the Midas touch.

CBS: Wait, so you'd use your powers for good?

DH: Yeah.

CBS:
Hah, you're a better man than me.

Posted on: July 28, 2010 9:07 am
 

Orlando locked and loaded for future

Posted by Matt Moore

The Orlando Magic are a force in the NBA. Despite making the Finals in 2009, and the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010, there are still those who dont' fully realize how good this Magic team has been. Much of this is on account of their style of play, which focuses on their three point shooting as part of their "1-in-4-out" strategy. The Magic set a record last season for made three pointers. They believe that this perimeter attack, when combined with Dwight Howard's physical play and their elite-level defense is a recipe for a championship.

So much so that they've locked into the approach for three more years.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Magic have agreed to three-year extensions with both Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith. The extensions are part of a wider range of moves that look to reformulate the structure of the front office with several executives being promoted and/or changing titles. Van Gundy's contract was set to expire at the end of this season. SVG has faced criticism from just about everyone, from Dwight Howard to Shaquille O'Neal to Michael Wilbon for his coaching style, which generally involves a lot of yelling. Teaching, to be sure. But a lot of yelling. And then screaming, and then more yelling. But despite all the criticism, and what I can only assume are a lot of throat lozenges, Van Gundy is effective. And that's what matters to Orlando ownership.

Meanwhile, as Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post points out , the Magic are primed for their best three-point shooting season yet. Of the nine players currently on roster with the Magic who do not play center, 8 of them had a three point shooting percentage above the league average last season. Their top four backcourt players (Nelson, Carter, Redick, Duhon) shot better than 37%. The Magic replaced two of their worst three-point shooters (Jason Williams and Matt Barnes) with two solid-to-great three point shooters in Quentin Richardson and Chris Duhon. The Magic are primed to hit from the perimeter like never before.

And they've got their abrasive general back as well.
 
 
 
 
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