Dan asked Van Gundy if he was part of the reason Dwight Howard is no longer with the Magic. “I don’t think so,” Van Gundy said. “Dwight was supposedly unhappy with me. I departed, and he’s not there.”
Van Gundy said the big problem was that too much was coming out publicly and there were too many rumors. He said it was a big distraction and when it started to get resolved, Howard got hurt and they didn’t get a chance to right the ship.
Van Gundy had a lot of praise for Howard. “He’s the smartest big guy I ever coached,” Van Gundy said. “He’s an easy guy to coach.”
Dan asked if he was offered a job at ESPN. “We thought we were,” Van Gundy said. “We thought we had an agreement on what we were going to do. It was just a matter of salaries.” But then Van Gundy said they told him “they decided to go in a different direction.”
Van Gundy did think that David Stern and the NBA probably played a role in ESPN choosing not to hire him.
Dan asked Van Gundy about the flopping rule. Van Gundy said he doesn’t think it will work. Instead, officials should just stop giving calls on flops. “If a guy is flopping, just stop giving him calls,” Van Gundy said. “If all of a sudden, I’m not getting calls, I’m going to stop [flopping].”