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Pat Riley and Phil Jackson on Stan Van Gundy

Allen Barra in the Wall Street Journal quotes Pat Riley saying, essentially, that Stan Van Gundy is more responsible for the Magic's success than Dwight Howard:

"He's one of these coaches," says Mr. Jackson, his Lakers counterpart, "whose teams always seem to produce more than the sum of their parts. I'd describe him as resilient, resourceful and relentless." Mr. Riley, for whom Mr. Van Gundy served as a longtime assistant coach at Miami, calls him "the most important acquisition Orlando ever made. More than any single player, he's the one who turned the franchise around. He solidified the organization."

In some strange way, doesn't it seem like Stan Van Gundy has been the story of this post-season? He's a panicker, he's a genius, he's experimenting, he's yelling, he's joking, he's funny-looking, he's raw ...

Barra, in the article above, even implies that Van Gundy's everyman appearance may have something to do with the high ratings for the first two Finals games. It's possible: For whatever reason, some people are interesting stories, and Stan Van Gundy is one of them.