Stan Van Gundy would be one of the most sought-after names on the NBA head coaching market ... except it sounds like he's taking himself off the market.
The news comes to us Tuesday morning from "The David Baumann Show" on 1080 The Team in Orlando:
BREAKING: Stan Van Gundy just told us he WILL NOT be a head coach in the NBA next season. It's a family decision.
— David Baumann (@DavidBaumann33) May 21, 2013
Stan Van Gundy: "The longer you are out, the more difficult it is to get back in... Right now it's not in the best interest of my family."
— David Baumann (@DavidBaumann33) May 21, 2013
Van Gundy's Tuesday radio announcement follows a May 15 report by Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski that the former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic coach was "unlikely to return to coaching next season." Van Gundy also told Baumann that he hasn't interviewed with any NBA teams, "although several teams had contacted him and he keeps telling them no."
The 53-year-old Van Gundy was considered a top target of both the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks after their seasons ended. Van Gundy, however, reportedly declined interest in the Bucks' position, as did former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. He was also considered a "long shot" to accept the Atlanta job presently held by Larry Drew, pushing Hawks general manager Danny Ferry to give "significant consideration" to hiring CSKA Moscow head coach Ettore Messina. The Euroleague legend and former Los Angeles Lakers assistant would be the first European-born coach in NBA history.
Van Gundy did not coach in the NBA during the 2012-13 season after he and former Magic general manager Otis Smith were "relieved of their duties" in Orlando following the, um, unpleasant combustion of the Dwight Howard situation. (That "relief" came one year ago today, by the way.) He's rolled up a 371-208 record in seven-plus years on NBA sidelines, making the postseason in all seven seasons he completed — as you might remember, he stepped down in Miami "due to personal and family reasons" in December 2005 before Pat Riley took the reins and led the Dwyane Wade-Shaquille O'Neal combo to the NBA championship — and bringing the Magic to the NBA finals in 2009.
It wouldn't be shocking to see Van Gundy change his mind if the right coaching opportunity came around — he wouldn't be the first coach swayed by a combination of top-flight talent, top-shelf pay and a sound basketball operations arm — but for now, it seems, we're going to have to endure one more year without him on the sidelines. That's a bummer for fans of squads seeking a dynamite bench boss, and for those of us who could use a little more SVG in our lives. (Which is to say: All of us.)
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The Brooklyn Nets just about define the superficial experience. The team was put together by a billionaire owner that promised a championship in spite of a lacking basketball resume, before tossing tens of millions of dollars at a general manager in Billy King who has long made a habit of going after the biggest names available. Part-owner Jay-Z helped shape the team’s look and image, despite only owning a small percentage of the team, and not even making it out of the franchise’s first year before selling his shares. And the team’s arena, the Barclays Center, followed the latest trends with its exterior look in spite of some quizzical glances from Brooklyn natives.
Perhaps they were reacting to the smell of the place.
On Monday Leslie Albrecht at DNAInfoNewYork.com put together a great piece on the canned smells the Center wafts in through its ventilation system. It’s not an offensive or even obtrusive odor, nor an obvious one, but it’s … something. And definitely noticeable. From Albercht’s piece:
As the last few fans rushed through the arena's front doors, the brisk breeze that followed them gave way to a distinct aroma: a fresh-smelling fragrance with citrus notes that some call the arena's "signature scent," in the words of one Twitter observer.
What is the smell? A source familiar with the matter said it's the work of ScentAir, a company that manufactures custom fragrances pumped into the air at theme parks, stores and hotels around the world. The odors function like mood music for your nose. They're meant to enhance the consumer experience and build brand identities.
Members of the Prospect Nights meet-up group spent a recent evening puzzling over why the Barclays Center "smells like perfume," according to one member. Members weren't complaining about the scent, but it definitely tickled their curiosity.
"It became a topic of conversation and something they wanted to get to the bottom of," said the local resident, who didn't want his name used. "You have this stadium and it's big and metallic and industrial looking, and you have this smell of perfume coming out of it, so it was kind of amusing."
Everything about this Nets team is “kind of amusing,” from the team’s massive payroll, underwhelming style, and presence of both Andray Blatche (NBA-level “amusing”) and Kris Humphries (US Weekly-level “amusing”) working alongside Joe Johnson’s giant contract and Deron Williams blasé “superstar” play.
The canned smells are nothing new, according to Albrecht. Not only do various tourist spots in New York City utilize the work of ScentAir, but teams like the Atlanta Hawks, St. Louis Rams, and Dallas Cowboys have also become clients. I wasn’t aware you could bottle the smell of indifference, but apparently that hasn’t stopped the Hawks from trying.
The Nets have declined comment on the fragrance, and for good reason – even the best of press release mavens would have a hard time accurately describing why, exactly, one would decide to pay to have scented air pumped into Barclays Center, much less describing the scent in un-mockable terms and explaining why it’s fit for the team’s arena.
A new arena at that, one somewhat famous for its high end menu and high class clientele. The natural smell coming from Barclays isn’t going to be like the one I experienced climbing the concrete steps of Chicago Stadium as a kid – all cheap lager, worn in cigarette smoke leftover from a previous era, and the natural odor that tends to emanate from humans when they consume several cups of cheap lager.
No, the Barclays Center should naturally smell like the high end artisanal pretzel rolls and craft brews it offers its patrons, and not some imperceptible, “citrus” (which is a descriptive word all of us go for when we have no idea what a certain wine, cigar, or perfume smells like) odor that the Nets are paying for on top of the four years and $89 million they’ll pay Joe Johnson between last summer and 2016.
It’s their arena, their money, and their ventilation options. We’re just wondering why this ownership group even bothers, for just a first round team.
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The order for the 2013 NBA Draft is now set after the league held the lottery on Tuesday. The Cleveland Cavaliers came out as the big winners moving up to snatch the top pick for the second time in three years.
Despite being courted by many NBA teams, Stan Van Gundy tells Orlando radio host Mike Baumann that he will not return to the NBA sidelines next season.
How did he do? Will he be back? Why?
Ken Berger is reporting that Dwight Howard will take a hard look at several teams in free agency this summer but makes no mention of the Atlanta Hawks.
Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry says that the franchise will take some time to decide on whether to bring back Larry Drew or look for a new coach.
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