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Monday, July 20, 2020

Following Orlando Magic layoffs, former coach Stan Van Gundy lashes out at team's billionaire owners

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 10:46 AM

click to enlarge "Some people have asked if it’s really me," Stan Van Gundy tweeted on July 10. - PHOTO VIA STAN VAN GUNDY/TWITTER
  • Photo via Stan Van Gundy/Twitter
  • "Some people have asked if it’s really me," Stan Van Gundy tweeted on July 10.
Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy isn't taking the news of massive layoffs at his old team lightly.

On Friday, the Athletic broke the news that the Magic is cutting 31 full-time employees amid the team's pandemic losses. Soon after, team CEO Alex Martins acknowledged the layoffs, writing in a press statement, "Our business, as well as many others like us, are significantly impacted due to COVID-19."

"We have had to make some very difficult business decisions in these unprecedented times," wrote Martins. "Due to this reality we have had to make the very hard decision to evaluate our overall structure, reorganize and reduce our headcount."

That "headcount" reduction really hit home for Van Gundy when a beloved Magic writer shared that he was among those cut.

"These layoffs just couldn’t be avoided," tweeted Van Gundy sarcastically. "The DeVos family that owns the Magic only has a net worth of about $5 BILLION. They just couldn’t afford to continue to pay all of their employees."
His response linked to a Saturday tweet by writer John Denton, announcing he was among those losing their jobs.

"As many have likely heard, the @OrlandoMagic laid off a chunk of their staff on Fri because of cutbacks related to the coronavirus," wrote Denton on Twitter. "I, unfortunately, was one of those cuts. While I’m saddened, I will value my time with the Magic, a stellar organization with many great people."

Denton was a reporter for Florida Today for 13 years before joining the Orlando Magic writing staff 10 years ago. The post was the final straw for Van Gundy, who had not yet commented on the prior day's news, as he unleashed on the team owners.

Van Gundy, now 60 years old, led the Magic to the NBA finals during the Dwight Howard years, from 2007 to 2012. He is still a fan favorite, with a sportscasting roles on TNT and NBA TV.

Van Gundy's message was directed at the notorious DeVos family, team owners through RDV Sports, Inc., a Michigan corporation created by Richard DeVos, which owns the Magic, the Orlando Miracle WNBA team, the Orlando Solar Bears and the RDV Sportsplex.

DeVos co-founded the "multi-level marketing business" Amway in 1959, becoming a billionaire and presiding over the rise of one of the world's wealthiest families.

The DeVos family donated piles of cash to Gov. Ron DeSantis' 2018 campaign.

DeVos' son, former Amway CEO Richard Jr., is married to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who is currently trying to pack the nation's children back into public schools before COVID-19 cases have leveled off. She hasn't avoided Van Gundy's notice either.

"Kids need to get back in the classroom," Secretary DeVos told CNN on July 12. "We’re a nation of action. We’re a country of doers."

"Oh she has always had a plan — to destroy public education in this country," Van Gundy responded during the broadcast.

That DeVos "country of doers" gumption could really come in handy right now, as a family with enough wealth and power to buy a pro basketball team grapples with how to keep that organization paid, especially while its athletes play out the season in the NBA's "bubble" at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex by Disney.

“Throughout our evaluation process, our top priority has been to preserve as many jobs as possible," wrote the Magic CEO on Friday.

Unless the Magic's owners have somehow gone broke since March, that statement is bullshit.
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