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The wonderfully honest coach Van Gundy

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  November 20, 2009 06:54 PM

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Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy is as forthcoming as any coach in the NBA. Last year during the playoffs, Van Gundy regaled the Boston media with tales from his days at UMass-Lowell.

Not today.

"I got in trouble for that last year," said Van Gundy. "They said I wasn't serious about the game because I answered your guys' questions.

Van Gundy's team won that playoff series, so he must have been at least a little serious. But the coach also seems to always be in serious trouble with the media. The latest flack comes from a heart-to-heart meeting between Van Gundy and Magic star Dwight Howard earlier this week in which it was reported that Van Gundy's negative approach was being questioned.

The story, said the coach, was blown out of proportion. Van Gundy said that he and Howard did talk about the coach's approach, as well as team injuries and other topics, but that the meeting was called by Van Gundy, not Howard, and it was not a big deal.

"It's not like Dwight walked in and said 'You're being too negative,'" said Van Gundy. "He said a lot of things, and only when asked...The communication was done in the right way and it was very honest."

Van Gundy did admit it wasn't constructive to tell the team "they sucked", and that specific coaching was probably more productive. But this wasn't some big "Aha!" moment.

"I'm not going to change the way I coach very much," he said. "I doubt you'll see me smiling....I'm not Mary Sunshine. But I am working on being less negative."

  • On the loss of Jameer Nelson, Van Gundy said, "The biggest difference is we lose one of our guys who attacks the basket. We don't have that many of those guys. Really it's he and Vince (Carter)."

    Nelson is out up to six weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery. With Nelson and Nets guard Devin Harris both injured, Rajon Rondo's All-Star chances are looking very good.

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