|For some reason, Stan Van Gundy wants to return to the messed up situation in Orlando. (Getty Images)|
"Our organization didn't handle it very well."
That was Stan Van Gundy talking to 790 The Ticket in Miami about the Dwight Howard saga.
Ya think, Stan?
Van Gundy was fired after the season from his job as head coach of the Magic, largely because of the completely messed up situation with Howard. We all know what happened. Howard wanted to be traded, then he wanted Van Gundy fired, then there was that awkward interview where Van Gundy told everyone he knew but Howard didn't know he knew, then Howard waived his early termination option, then had back surgery and missed the playoffs, then Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith were indeed fired.
And then Howard didn't back off his trade request finally getting his ticket out of town in a four-team deal with the Lakers.
How does Van Gundy feel about the whole thing?
“Well I'd like to have a job. That'd be nice. That's not a great feeling. We just got caught up in a bad situation and our organization didn't handle it very well. Because of that I would say we probably deserve a lot of what happened as an organization and certainly not the other players. I thought those guys…I felt badly for them, a group that worked hard and was very professional all year long and didn't deserve everything that happened, but from our organization especially the people at the very top it just wasn't handled very well, so you get what you deserve.”
Van Gundy talked about how he didn't think the actual situation messed with the chemistry of the team, instead citing Howard's injury is really what the downfall was. He seemed to imply that Howard was indeed "all in" for the rest of the season and the team liked their chances in the playoffs before his injury.
And yet, he was fired? Doesn't make much sense. But then again, the organization didn't handle it well. Neither did Howard though. What was the deal with the back and forth?
“Well, I think it confuses everyone. It confuses all of us. I was a little bit surprised at the time. Look I think Dwight Howard is a guy, who likes his teammates, enjoys the camaraderie of the locker room and he's gotta realize you are in season making that decision and the guys you are with every single day are your teammates. It's also…the timing of it is we were also out on the road at that time and just played San Antonio, so it's not like he's going home after practice or something else. He is with his teammates all day and sort of got wrapped up in that and just decided hey I want to…I might as well just finish this season in Orlando and he opted in, but at the same time I don't think his desire to leave at some point ever left him, so it was more I think to finish the year in Orlando.
Wow. So basically Howard just got his emotional juices flowing on a team road trip and opted in. Hence the indecision after the story broke. He made his mind up, his camp tried to reason with him, got him talked down, and then he ended up staying anyway.
And then back to the trade demands. He genuinely wanted to finish the season in Orlando. He just wanted out after that.
Van Gundy said he still has the itch to coach, but he's in no rush either. After what he went through in Orlando, can you blame him?