March 15, 2011
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(notes) inconsistent minutes.
And in a recent Sports Illustrated poll of 138 NBA players, a whopping 65 percent of those who were asked listed SVG as the NBA's most annoying coach. The next two coaches in the ranking, Phil Jackson and Scott Skiles, only registered 7 percent of the vote, managing just nine ballots apiece. So Stan's voice is clearly ringing in some ears.
I would also submit that the voters who picked Jackson as the most annoying coach must have been thinking of Jackson's off-court endeavors, including the way he wryly uses a passive-aggressive technique to send shots to all manner of player, coach and organizations. That said, the poll asked for "the most annoying coach during games," and unless Jackson's super-high chair is blocking the view of members of players' families, Jackson is far from an annoyance between the lines. He barely stands up, he's circumspect with his orders, and he doesn't even whistle as much as he used to.
Scott Skiles? The dude still tries to fight guys from the sidelines. My man Stan Van? He's just a little annoying. That's all.
Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post brought this poll to my attention, and along the way he made an inadvertent point amongst many intended good points -- Van Gundy's winning percentage (64.9 percent) also rivals the percent of players that voted for him. So he's annoying all the way to the bank.