Lifestyle & Belief

Stan Van Gundy fired as coach of Orlando Magic


Stan Van Gundy speaks to the media at Amway Arena on Dec. 18, 2010, in Orlando, Fla. The Orlando Magic fired Van Gundy as head coach on May 21, 2012, and parted ways with general manager Otis Smith following a tumultuous season.


Sam Greenwood

The Orlando Magic fired head coach Stan Van Gundy on Monday and agreed to part ways with general manager Otis Smith following a tumultuous season marred by a preseason trade request by Dwight Howard and other internal team issues.

The move ends Van Gundy’s five-year tenure as head coach and Smith’s six-year stint as GM with the franchise, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

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“It’s time for new leadership and a new voice with a different approach to building a championship basketball operation,” Magic CEO Alex Martins told the newspaper.

Martins wouldn't go into many specifics, but said he and team ownership want a new general manager by June's NBA draft.

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He planned to sit down with team owners on Tuesday to begin ironing out the details of both searches, The Associated Press reported.

Orlando went 37-29 in the regular season but was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Indiana after a rash of late-season injuries that included back surgery for Howard. Orlando went 5-12 without him, according to the AP.

Howard is eligible to become a free agent on July 1, Fox Sports reported.

The Magic posted a 259-135 (.657) record in Van Gundy’s five seasons in Orlando. They made the playoffs all five years, won the Southeast Division three times and went to the 2009 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Lakers, Sporting News reported.

Both Smith and Van Gundy are under contract through next season and both of their contracts will be honored, according to the AP.