Van Gundy on coaching, NBA, Howard, politics
by Jon Saraceno, USA TODAY Sports
Relaxed, tanned and scruffy, Stan Van Gundy props his feet on an oversized ottoman ideally positioned on a humongous deck overlooking a man-made lake. Van Gundy, 52, shares the rustic home in Lake Mary, Fla., with his wife and their four children, plus five cats and a dog, Skip. The former NBA coach is enjoying life but is conflicted regarding his future. With a .641 career winning percentage, does he desire to resume his vocation – and does any NBA team covet his outspoken, grumpy and hard-driving coaching style? Van Gundy’s teams in Miami and Orlando made the playoffs seven times in eight seasons, including the Magic’s unsuccessful trip to the Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009. His six-year run in Orlando ended in controversy last May when the team fired him at the behest of star center Dwight Howard. “Sitting out here right now, looking at the lake on a beautiful day, there are times when I feel grateful to be away from it — and then there are times I miss it,” he said. Van Gundy chatted about several topics, including his gig as an NBC college basketball analyst, with USA TODAY’s Jon Saraceno. The interview was edited for clarity and length.
Q: You’re a baseball fan, so let’s go off-topic. What was your take on suspected PED users being rejected for the Hall of Fame?
A: I certainly would have voted for anyone who was not proven to have taken them. This idea that we can decide who took steroids or not . . . there has to be a level of proof not just suspicion. I can have my suspicions about Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens. But I don’t think I should be able to keep them away from the greatest professional honor of their lives because I have a suspicion.
But I do understand the argument about the guys who were clean and couldn’t measure up. I don’t think a guy should have to make the decision to put … [For more on Stan Van Gundy on coaching, NBA, Dwight Howard, politics, click here.]