Mar 19, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy watches the play during the third quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Amway Center. Chicago defeated Orlando 85-59. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy's future in Orlando is up in the air, as one report indicates superstar Dwight Howard will not sign a long-term extension with the franchise unless Van Gundy is let go.
Dwight Howard will be under contract with the Orlando Magic for at least one more year after deciding not to exercise his opt-out clause this summer. For him to be there even longer, it may require the team to fire coach Stan Van Gundy. Howard has told the club that he will not sign a long-term contract unless Van Gundy and his coaching staff are let go, according to a report by WKMG Local 6 in Orlando.
Talk of Van Gundy's tenuous future in Orlando has been ongoing since the trade deadline, but it has not always been clear whether Howard wants the coach fired or whether the coach himself is fed up with having to deal with questions of Howard's future with the team. According to the WKMG report, it is Howard that is telling management that he wants a new coaching staff.
Magic owner Rich DeVos denied the report to WKMG program director David Pingalore:
"He's not going to dictate what is going to happen," DeVos said. "We talked to him about it and the mistake that we made is that we didn't talk to him about his preferences.
"He can't make those decisions and choices," DeVos added. "We will make those, but we will let him know what we are making and we want his opinion on what fits and doesn't fit."
Van Gundy has been one of the most successful coaches in Magic franchise history, compiling a record of 254-128 in four and a half years with the team.