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Stan Van Gundy says centers need to adjust to the modern game

Former Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy has recently tried to explain the anomaly involving the league’s expectations on big men in this day and age.

Van Gundy has decided to use Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard, who happened to be his star player during their time together with the Orlando Magic, as the prime example of his argument.

According to Van Gundy, Howard possesses all the necessary tools to become an elite center in the league.

“The problem is — and not just for Dwight — it’s been a tough adjustment for them [big men,]” Van Gundy said recently on The Open Mike Radio Show, per host Mike Bianchi or the Orlando Sentinel. “What everybody wants right now in a center is a guy who runs, defends, defends pick-and-rolls, protects the rim, rebounds and, on offense, is a pick-and-roll guy and a lob threat. Well, that’s Dwight Howard. There’s probably nobody who’s ever been better than him [at those skills.]”

Despite having an excellent skill set — at least according to Van Gundy — Howard has become a disposable piece for teams in recent years. The 59-year-old coach offers an explanation on why he believes this to be the case.

“The problem is these guys all want more. They want it go go back to the days where you would throw them the ball in the low post and then they get to play their game. I understand that. You’re a great player and you want to be able to show what you can do, but the game has changed. It’s been a tough adjustment for centers. I don’t think the game has passed them by because those guys are still really effective. They just have had trouble adjusting to and enjoying the role people want them to play.”

Van Gundy does raise an excellent point here. This just proves his vast knowledge on the game. Hopefully, NBA teams take notice, and at least one of them offers Van Gundy a job sooner rather than later.