- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “NBA players voted the Orlando Magic’s Stan Van Gundy as the most annoying coach in the league — and it’s not even close. Of 138 NBA players polled by Sports Illustrated, 65 percent said Van Gundy is the most annoying coach during games. Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers and Scott Skiles of the Milwaukee Bucks each received seven percent of the vote, tying for second place. Van Gundy is loud and animated during games, constantly barking instructions to his players and complaints to the referees. Even on television, you can often hear Van Gundy’s raspy voice through the tiny microphones at each rim. And when you combine his animated coaching style with his strong emotions and high attention to detail — even in the final seconds of blowout victories — you start to see why Van Gundy dominated the players’ vote.”
- More from McCann: “Magic GM Otis Smith says to give [Gilbert] Arenas one summer to get his game back, but the Magic don’t have time for that — they need Arenas to play well now. But they don’t need the Washington Wizards version of Arenas; he doesn’t have to score 28.4 points per game and shoot at a high volume like he did in his last full season with the Wizards back in 2007. He’s clearly in no physical condition for that, lacking the lift and explosiveness that defined his game earlier in the decade. Instead, the Magic just need Arenas to be steady — take the shots that are there, probe the opposing defense in transition and avoid being a liability on defense.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy may be annoying, but his players appreciate him.
- Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated: “The Magic have become a wild-card team: It wouldn’t be a tremendous shock to see them make it to the Finals or get eliminated in the first round. That’s because their margin of error is so thin. Dwight Howard is the NBA’s most reliable defensive presence — but the drop-off is steep if he gets in foul trouble. Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu are both cool, experienced floor generals familiar with the offense — but can they maximize those talents without impinging on each other? Jason Richardson and Ryan Anderson can be lights-out three-point shooters — but they also can have difficulty establishing a rhythm or getting enough touches on the perimeter. Then there are coach Stan Van Gundy’s emotional reactions, Howard’s foul shooting, Gilbert Arenas.”
- Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie: “Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, as you probably already know, is quite the animated character. Not cartoonish, just a wee bit anxious, and pretty audible from the sidelines even if you’re sitting at home taking in games from your living room. The man likes to warn his team about the plays they’re about to see as defenders, and he really, really wants his team to execute the play he’s just called out from the sidelines. If you don’t believe me, ask Ryan Anderson’s inconsistent minutes.”