Stan Van Gundy Scoffs at Michael Wilbon, Questions His Integrity
Although the question of his job security was dismissed completely Monday in Boston before Game 4 by Magic general manager Otis Smith, Van Gundy was asked after Wednesday's workout about Wilbon's radio remarks.
This is what Wilbon said, without citing sources, or without following up in either his newspaper column or on television:
"... I think that Stan probably will be fired [if the Magic lose to the Celtics]. ... I've already heard the rumblings that he will be fired if they don't win this series."
The Magic, who were trailing 3-0 in the Eastern Conference finals against Boston when the remarks were made, beat the Celtics in overtime Monday night. They are home against the Celtics on Wednesday.
"No. 1, I'm not worried about my job security, and I'm even less worried about what Michael Wilbon would think about anything,'' Van Gundy said. "He's just ... a talking head. I have refused to be on PTI (Wilbon's television show) for years, for five years. I follow that stuff. If you go on guys' shows, they don't criticize you. If you won't go on their show, they do. That stuff is never known. There's a lack of integrity in that business.''
Van Gundy, with one year left on his contract, is expected to return next season, regardless of this series with Boston. Yet he also watched Cleveland fire Mike Brown earlier this week after Brown won 127 games the last two seasons. Brown was fired after losing to Boston in the conference semifinal round.
"Our goal is to win a championship. If we don't do that, we have fallen short of expectations,'' Van Gundy said. "We're going to get criticized. That's understandable. We're not afraid of expectations.''
Van Gundy, like last season, will earn an incentive bonus worth $1 million if the Magic beat the Celtics and advance into the NBA Finals like they did last season. He also is making an estimated $4 million in base salary.
"This is not something I worry about. I can support my family right now. Our lifestyle won't change (if I lost my job). A lot of people aren't in that situation,'' he said. "There are people out there, wondering, every day, and I feel for those people, especially the way the economy is now, worrying about job security. I don't have to worry about money. I'm lucky. My worry is about Game 5 and getting to Game 6.''