Players genuinely like Van Gundy. He's good for a joke, flexible and more accommodating than you'd imagine. He tolerates their laughter on the team plane after a galling loss. He somehow didn't combust when Lewis opted not to go into a game recently. And he sometimes leaves practice scheduling up to players (Howard and Anthony Johnson arranged for a later start time on Monday after the team's two off days).
But Van Gundy's antics were wearing thin.
As Lewis said of Van Gundy's new approach, "It's helped a lot. You scream and yell ….and sometimes guys will shut it down on you. He continues to coach the game. He gets on us when he has to, but not all the time. It gets old after a while." [...]
"It helps me," [said Van Gundy.] "I get focused on what's next a little better. I'm not as composed as a lot of guys, but I'm getting better. I don't know how much I've changed; I've changed some."
This is well-written piece because it sheds light on how Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy has made a concerted effort to tone down on the negativity and how his players have responded positively to the change. As the article stated, the Magic are 13-4 since Dwight Howard and Van Gundy spoke to each other before the team faced off against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 18th at the Amway Arena. Seems so long ago.
Nevertheless, a must-read.
And I hear Dwight does a great impression of his coach.