While it's easy to assume that Stan Van Gundy will be unemployed in a matter of weeks, the Orlando Magic coach isn't going down without a fight. Van Gundy said this afternoon that he wants to return next season.
“I don’t have a scenario in my head where I wouldn’t,” Van Gundy told the Orlando Sentinel. “They’re going to have to make decisions. But I’m a basketball coach and I know this: I don’t want to go anywhere else. I mean, I love Orlando, and this is where I want to be. And I want to coach.”
Van Gundy’s contract runs through 2012-13, but in light of the media fiasco that broke out this week when the coach revealed he knew Dwight Howard wanted him fired, it was assumed the two would part ways. Now, Van Gundy is saying he wants to stay.
It doesn't appear Howard is going anywhere, either; the superstar big man waived the early termination option in his contract last month, so he will still be in Orlando next season barring a trade. For the moment, it looks like Van Gundy and Howard are stuck with each other. “I think we have respect for each other regardless of whatever is being said or being put out there," Howard said. "As a coach, I have the utmost respect for Stan. He’s been a great coach on our team for the last five years."