Dwight Howard's Selfishness Will Destroy Stan Van Gundy's Career
You probably don't completely know just how successful Stan Van Gundy has been as a head coach in the NBA, but he has been a consistent winner. His total win-loss record is 362-194. When actually getting to coach 82 games in a season, Van Gundy averages well over 50 wins.
Does anyone out there really know where Dwight Howard stands? We hear something new all the time. One minute we hear that he's going to one team, the next minute he's going somewhere else, then he wants to stay in Orlando. It's hard to keep them all straight.
As far as what that means for Van Gundy, the worst situation that a coach can be in is an unstable one. According to Michael Wallace of ESPN, the situation with Howard in Orlando is anything but stable.
Dwight said he's informed Magic he wants to stay for rest of season. Said they now must "roll the dice."— Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) March 14, 2012
Rolling the dice in this situation is not a good thing for Van Gundy. This is especially true in light of a report from Tuesday, which came to us via Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN, per Ric Bucher.
One source close to the situation told Bucher that the Magic have promised Howard that they will add a quality player before Thursday's deadline and that Howard can decide the fate of both Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy at the end of the season if he signs an extension.
Really? Honestly, if you're going to fire Van Gundy, come out and do it now. At the very least, announce that he'll finish the season but won't be brought back. Putting it all in the hands of a superstar that has been so inconsistent is going to end up backfiring. In all honesty, I would predict that neither man will be back in Orlando next season. That is unfortunate.
Here's how I see this happening. The Magic will keep Howard through the season and won't wait to fire Van Gundy. They'll do that almost immediately after the season ends.
If they're telling Howard that he can fire the coach at the end of the year, then it only makes sense that Orlando believes that the two don't get along. In that spot, it's not a huge leap to think that they'll just can the coach.
Is the Dwight Howard saga going to hurt Stan Van Gundy long term?
What's going to come out of all of this is the perception that Van Gundy just can't coach. In reality, his record speaks for itself; nothing could be further from the truth.
Howard has held the franchise hostage all season, which is devastating for anyone currently involved with them. Even in announcing that he wanted to stay through the season, Howard is leaving too much in the air.
This is not going to be unlike what we saw in Cleveland with LeBron James. When he leaves, we're going to see a lot of scorched earth behind. Van Gundy will again be fired from a place where he did a great job.
Van Gundy's situation would be much better if we knew where Howard stood. But the fact that Howard is keeping everyone up in the air is going to damage a lot of people in Orlando, notably the head coach.
All of this instability is going to knock Van Gundy out of a good situation, which will completely derail his career.
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