"We started this offseason in the process of looking for a head coach. We targeted two guys, and we actually hired them both in a six-day period of time. I just want to thank all you guys for being here as I introduce the new head coach of the Orlando Magic, Stan Van Gundy."
Stan Van Gundy:
"Thank you. I'm excited to be here. I want to thank the DeVos family for placing their confidence in me, thank Bob (Vander Weide) and Alex (Martins) and Otis. I couldn't be more excited to be here. We have been up, my wife and I, for about 36 hours straight so if I lose my train of thought here and have to pause, bear with me a little bit. But from a professional standpoint, this is just a tremendous opportunity to come to a franchise here in Orlando that has a great young core, starting with a 21 year-old all-star, Dwight Howard, and several other very good, young players. Salary-cap flexibility, and beyond the flexibility money-wise, you know it's a very attractive place for free agents to come. Not a lot of players I know out there are looking to freeze their butt off somewhere; I mean coming to the sunshine here in Orlando is pretty attractive. I know it was to me. And the ownership group is committed to winning and committed to having a franchise that the community can be proud of, and then a history over the last couple years of very good front-office decisions that have given the franchise that flexibility. So, as a coach you look at it as a chance to really succeed here, and on a personal level, a chance to live in Central Florida in great communities here. My wife's Mom is right up the road in Lake Mary; this is just the perfect fit for us professionally and personally, and I couldn't be more excited to be here."
On what happened yesterday (Wednesday) with the Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic:
"Yesterday was certainly one of the more interesting days of my life. It was long and tiring and a lot of people put in a lot of effort to make this happen today. Certainly, everyone here with the Magic and then some people who, you know, helped me out also. My wife, for one, made a lot of time and effort yesterday to make this happen."
On his interest level with the Sacramento job:
"Well, you know I am not going to go into that too much because I think the focus here should be on the opportunity here and the great privilege I have to coach the Orlando Magic, but obviously, I flew to Sacramento with the intention of checking out the opportunity there, and it was one that I was very interested in."
On Pat Riley asking for compensation for him and whether it was fair:
"Well, it didn't surprise me at all, and I am not going to get into the fairness issue. I'll just say that I am very grateful to Pat. First of all, in over 12 years there, he nurtured my NBA coaching career, and I really learned what I know about the NBA from him. And then he advanced me and gave me a chance and opportunity as a head coach, and after some troublesome moments yesterday (Wednesday, June 6), you know he allowed me to take this opportunity so I am excited and grateful to him."
On possibly being the Orlando Magic's second choice for coach:
"It doesn't concern me. I am honored to be sitting here, and I can't wait to go to work with the players they have here. That's really of no consequence at all. And I think any time that you are in sports and are looking backward, you got it wrong. I mean it is time to be going forward on to the opportunities that we have as a franchise and this coming season, and I think people are going to like what they see and that's what is important."
On how much he saw the Magic last year and his style of play:
"Well, I saw them play quite a bit last year, and to be honest ,one of the things I liked about taking the job is that I think there is a good foundation there, particularly at the defensive end of the floor, and we will certainly continue that defensive excellence, because I think if you just look at the NBA Finals right now and see who's playing, you've got to be strong at that end. And what that also allows us to do is focus on the offensive end and making some adjustments there. I think, certainly when you look at the team the Magic have with the youth and athleticism, we've got to utilize both the athleticism and energy of the young players, and I think that means playing in a more up-tempo, attacking style. And I think sometimes that gets presented as just running fast breaks, but it's more than that. It means that we should always be on the attack, we should be getting to our options quicker, and I think you should see that. It should be a style of play that is fun for players to play and exciting for the fans to watch. But the most exciting thing to watch is when you are winning, and I don't think we want to forget that. There are some teams out there, and I'm not going to name names, that scored a lot of points this year and it wasn't too exciting because they weren't winning games, so the number one thing, we want to win."
On his coaching philosophy:
"Well, my basic philosophy is, number one, you've got to be strong defensively, and then at the offensive end of the floor, I think there are two main things before you get into how fast you are going to play or anything else determining what you are going to do. Number one is that you've got to fit the system to the talent that you have and not the other way around. I think that is very important in offensive basketball, and I think a lot of that goes to, you have to find ways to get your best offensive players on the floor, and sometimes that means you've got to play guys in different positions and various things. But if you can get your best offensive players out there and fit the system to their talents, whether that is running up and down the floor, whether that's throwing the ball to Dwight in the post, you know whether that's getting more 3-point shooting on the floor, whatever it is, that's your job as coach to make it all work."
On why he chose the Magic:
"Well, I think I went through those reasons. I think you look at, you know, what's here and the advantages here with a great young core of players and with salary-cap flexibility. And I think more, when you look at the salary-cap flexibility, to have that you've got to know that the front office is making some good decisions to put you in that position, and then, like I said, it is an attractive place. I mean it is one thing to have some money, but you've got to have money and a place that somebody might actually want to come and play, so I think you are in a great place here. And then you've got an ownership group I think is really committed to success, and like I said, history here in the last couple of years under Otis, of some great front-office decisions, with (Darko) Milicic and (Carlos) Arroyo coming here, Steve Francis going to New York and Trevor Ariza coming here. I would go through more and more, but when you see those things, you know things are on the right track and you are going to have a chance at success."
On the transition from Miami to Orlando:
Transcript of Stan Van Gundy's introductory news conference with Orlando Magic
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
Los Angeles Times welcomes civil dialogue about our stories; you must register with the site to participate. We filter comments for language and adherence to our Terms of Service, but not for factual accuracy. By commenting, you agree to these legal terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.
Having technical problems? Check here for guidance.