Ending a relationship that had turned ugly, the Orlando Magic fired head coach Stan Van Gundy today, while relieving general manager Otis Smith from his duties. In other words, the Magic cleaned house in an effort to get Dwight Howard to stay around longer than just next season. As indicated, the relationship between the head coach and the star player got a little ugly when Van Gundy publicly responded to rumors that Howard had asked the Magic front office to fire the coach.
Naturally, YouTube/everywhere that covers sports captured this episode for all to see:
From there, it was only a matter of time before one of the two left town, and considering just how much more pull these mega-talented players have over their coaches, logic suggested Van Gundy would be the one leaving town before Howard. Now, that reality has come to fruition, with the GM thrown in to boot.
Considering the popularity of the NBA on Twitter, an overload of reaction was expected. To illustrate this point, Van Gundy has not one, but two Twitter trends discussing his departure. The reaction has been a pretty entertaining read, all things considered:
Magic CEO trying to set a nice screen for Howard, saying DH never asked him to fire Stan Van Gundy. So I guess SVG just made that up. Sure.
"Dwight Howard never asked me to fire Stan Van Gundy." -Alex Martins. So SVG was just making that stuff up, is what he's saying. Nice.
Saw 'SVG' trending on Twitter and thought everyone was getting really excited about scalable vector graphics. turns out it was basketball.
To me, SVG firing reinforces this truth: an NBA megastar on a max contract is the single-most valuable asset in sports.
"Stan Van Gundy got fired!? Oh no, I am soo sad! I really liked him." - Sarcastic Dwight Howard thought.
There's quite a bit of support for the now-fired coach:
Stan Van Gundy deserves better than the Orlando Magics. Getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to him.
With the Stan Van Gundy & Otis Smith firing, I hope Dwight leaves Orlando and screws the front office over. SVG averaged 55 wins/season.....
Thank you Stan Van Gundy for being part of turning the Magic around! Sad to see him go. Wishing him a great future in his next coaching job!
Looks like no matter how the Magic front office tries to spin it, Dwight Howard is apparently going to remain the bad guy in all this. Lastly, the Van Gundy Twitter trend brought back a recent favorite in regards to animated gifs, courtesy of Jose3030:
Which gives us:
And that, folks, is a perfect encapsulation of the Stan Van Gundy/Dwight Howard relationship.