The Orlando Magic fired coach Stan Van Gundy Monday, part of a managerial shakeup that also included the exit of general manager Otis Smith. Whether Dwight Howard gets traded before or during next season or leaves after as a free agent, the friction between those two and Howard boiled over this season, with the Magic losing to the Indiana Pacers in just five games in the opening round of the playoffs.
Van Gundy takes with him perhaps the most grating, annoying voice in all of professional sport. While undoubtedly a decent coach – the Magic won over 70 percent of their regular season games, claimed three division titles, made the playoffs all five seasons and went to the 2009 NBA Finals – Van Gundy at his raspiest has the power to shatter glass, eardrums, and possibly even frontal lobes.
The Celtics play the Magic only a couple of times a year. As such, one’s ears always heal just enough so that when the next Celtics-Magic game comes around, Van Gundy sets them bleeding all over again.
They say misery loves company. So that everyone can share my pain, here are five moments with Stan Van Gundy (with a few guest appearances by Doc Rivers!).
• Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors post-game, 4/26/2012
• 2010 Eastern Conference Finals: Game 3 vs. Boston Celtics, 5/22/2010
• 2010 Eastern Conference Finals: Game 6 vs. Boston Celtics, 5/28/2010
• Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 4/3/2009
• 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: Game 3 vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 4/24/2009
Hopefully everyone now understands Van Gundy’s voice is a menace that must be stopped. But lest you accuse me of bias, here are five moments of Howard impersonating Van Gundy.
• ESPNews, 5/31/2009
• SportsNation, 8/19/2009
• Orlando Magic vs. Detroit Pistons, 1/24/11
• Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors, 2/1/2009
• Orlando Magic vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 4/4/2011
Stan and Dwight, you made for great TV on and off the court. Can’t wait for your first game against each other, which I’m sure will provide the basketball world with a whole new slew of screeches and mockeries.