Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy may quit the team following the 2012 playoffs, reports Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD. "A growing number of people within the organization believe that Van Gundy will quit after the season," Kennedy says, because Van Gundy doesn't wish to endure another season wherein uncertainty about the future of superstar center Dwight Howard dominates his team.
"The thing that has bugged me more than anything this year: nobody even gives a damn about the results of our game," Van Gundy said just days before the NBA trade deadline. "Nobody cares. There's no questions about our games. Nobody cares if we play well or don't play well. It doesn't matter. It's all, 'is Dwight going to stay?'"
Howard elected to forego free agency in 2012 by waiving his early termination option, meaning the six-time All-Star will not be eligible for free agency until 2013. That decision enabled him to remain in Orlando for the rest of the 2011/12 season--Orlando would have traded him otherwise, to avoid losing him for nothing as a free agent--but also ensured another season's worth of rumors would follow.
But Van Gundy, Kennedy says, might not have the chance to quit: it's possible the Magic fire him, despite his owning the best regular-season and playoff win percentages in franchise history. "There have been rumblings that Howard presented the front office with a list of coaches that he’d like them to pursue this summer," says Kennedy. Among them is former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, with whom Howard has a good relationship. McMillan serves as an assistant coach for the United States' men's Olympic team and won gold alongside Howard at the 2008 Games in Beijing. Marc Stein of ESPN reported Friday that McMillan is on Orlando's radar.
As a result of an extension he signed in 2010, Van Gundy is under contract with the Magic through the 2012/13 season. Otis Smith, the team's President of Basketball Operations, is also signed through 2012/13.