Stan Van Gundy interview
Sun Sports will debut a compelling interview with Orlando Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy on Monday, July 30. Host Whit Watson sat down with Van Gundy yesterday at the RDV Sportsplex to discuss a variety of topics including the somewhat surreal scenario that resulted in his joining the Magic, the circumstances surrounding his departure from the Miami HEAT, what’s ahead for the Magic and more. Van Gundy was also asked to share some personal anecdotes with the fans, such as what he’d like to change about the NBA, best player he’s ever seen and what he likes to read. His answers may be surprising. In My Own Words: Stan Van Gundy premieres on Sun Sports Monday, July 30, at 7:30pm.
Van Gundy on if he’d like to see a Magic-HEAT rivalry develop: “Absolutely. I think rivalries are the lifeblood of sports. In our league the rivalries develop really in the playoffs….part of it is we’ve got the great proximity and now we have a connection between the franchises, but you still have to meet in the playoffs and part of that’s just luck. The seedings have to go so that you end up matched up for the rivalry to really get where you’d like to see it.”
Van Gundy on if J.J. Redick will see playing time this season: “A lot of that will be up to J.J. And to other people because it comes down to competition for minutes with other guys. I like what he’s done so far. I like what he did in the Summer League. I thought he went out and competed very hard and really made an effort at the defensive end and I know he’s got the offensive skills to help us…..he’ll be out there. The amount of minutes I told him depends on how well he can hold his own against the great offensive players in the two guard position in the Eastern Conference.”
Van Gundy on fans wanting the Magic to “push the tempo:” “What all fans talk about is what Phoenix does, is just run up and down. They’re the only team that does that and there’s a reason. There the only team that’s got Steve Nash. That system is great, but it hasn’t looked great in the games he’s missed. We just want a higher energy level….even the pace of the game in the half court. We want it to pick up.”
Van Gundy on skepticism surrounding his decision not to continue coaching the HEAT: “In Pat’s (Riley) case, people had assumed since the day we got Shaq that it wasn’t long before he went back to coaching. And he was probably maybe too honest because every time he got asked about it he would say he probably was not done with coaching. Then when I left, people assumed it was him pushing me out the door. I’ve actually looked forward to this time, where I’m not in the Heat organization anymore and I don’t have a reason to have to say anything, and I’m telling the same story I told then. There was nothing sinister going on.”
Van Gundy on anything about the NBA he’d like to change? “I think it’s a great game the way it is. There are always little things that you can do. I think anything that would open up the floor a bit more. The one dramatic thing, if they really wanted a wide open game, they should just take one guy off each team, play four on four and give those guys a little bit more room. You’d see unbelievable play.”