Former Orlando Magic head coach, Stan Van Gundy, was unable to keep an unsatisfied Dwight Howard happy in Orlando. As a result, his job was terminated with Howard heading to the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster trade. While his dismissal may be unjustified, Van Gundy has apparently drawn interested from many teams around the league, including the Milwaukee Bucks.
Via NBA Insider Ken Berger of CBSSports:
The Bucks will interview Van Gundy and Sampson, the Rockets’ top assistant, for the job vacated Wednesday when interim coach Jim Boylan was let go, league sources said. It is also believed that Lakers assistant Steve Clifford — a Van Gundy assistant in Orlando (under Stan) and Houston (under Jeff) — will be under consideration. Stan Van Gundy has long been a favorite of Bucks GM John Hammond, who is looking for a defensive-minded coach who will be able to “control the locker room,” one source said.
Van Gundy received a reputation as one of the most respected coaches in the league with a desire to win. He wants to win and will put the work in however would he be able to win with a Milwaukee team who just got swept by the Miami Heat in the first round? A team that barley made the playoffs due to the downfall of misfortunes of other teams in the eastern conference (injuries, trades etc.)? It’s doubtful especially considering the fact that Bucks’ superstars Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, J.J. Reddick and Mike Dunleavy will all be free agents this coming summer.
While the Bucks hiring Sampson, Van Gundy or Clifford remains a mystery, one thing remains certain. The Bucks need to go all in and obtain a serious head coach who will be able to utilize their player’s skills, and can maximize their abilities with the objective to win. A head coach that can control the locker room and make the Bucks a serious championship caliber in the next upcoming years. Playtime is over. It’s time to get serious.