Jeff Van Gundy on Tuesday criticized the Orlando Magic for firing his older brother, Stan Van Gundy.
Speaking on a teleconference with reporters to promote ESPN’s coverage of the Eastern Conference finals, Jeff Van Gundy was asked about recent comments he made in which he was critical of Magic CEO Alex Martins.
“I know that in the three years before Stan came to Orlando, Dwight Howard had never had a winning record and he had never won a playoff game and he’d never been the Defensive Player of the Year,” Jeff responded. “He’d never been an All-NBA player. So I know all those things.
“Listen, teams have the right to change coaches. . . . Every coach has been through it except for the very few lucky ones. But there is a manner in which you go about changing that shows you have a dignity and an integrity about you. Their callous disregard for what Stan helped them to do — winning more playoff series in his five years than they have had in the entire time that they’ve been a franchise. Add into that that he’s my brother? Sure, it impacted my comments.
“But I didn’t overreact. If anything, I underreacted, because when you see leadership by appeasement or appeasement as a leadership strategy, I think it’s wrong. I think it’s wrong for the individual player. I think it’s wrong for the team and the franchise. And that’s what I said in many different ways.”
A Magic spokesman declined to comment. Martins has said Howard had never asked him to fire Stan Van Gundy, but Martins has not said whether Howard ever asked anyone else in the organization to fire Van Gundy.
Howard has said he had no role in the firing.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times