The Orlando Magic have fired coach Stan Van Gundy, the team just announced.GM Otis Smith and the team have “mutually agreed to part ways” as well.
So after a tumultuous season, Dwight Howard stays (for now), and the coach and GM get canned.
Van Gundy is widely regarded as one of the better coaches in the league. But this is the second time he’s been canned after a rocky relationship with a superstar—Shaquille O’Neal and Stan clashed in Miami before he was let go.
At some point in the last two seasons, Howard reportedly went to the front office and requested that Van Gundy be fired.
Here’s the official statement (via CBS Sports):
Orlando Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins announced today that Stan Van Gundy has been relieved of his duties as head coach. In addition President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Otis Smith and the organisation have mutually agreed to part ways.
“On behalf of the DeVos Family, we sincerely appreciate and thank Otis and Stan for all that they have done on and off the floor for the Orlando Magic,” said Martins. “These are the days you dread in this business, but we feel it’s time for new leadership and new voices.”
“They both brought die-hard dedication and an unmatched work ethic on a daily basis,” added Martins. “Their success is well documented, as the Orlando Magic has had the fourth best record in the NBA over the last five years, and entering the playoffs this year the third most playoff wins over that period of time. The disappointment of getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs these past two seasons played a primary role in our decision, as we feel our momentum towards winning a championship has paused. We wish Otis and Stan all the best and we look forward to taking the next step towards winning that championship.”
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