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Happy Birthday to Stan Van Gundy

Stan the Man turns 55 today. What would you give the latest Detroit Pistons coach?

Gregory Shamus

Stan Van Gundy hasn't coached a second of Pistons basketball, but that doesn't mean we can let his birthday go by without highlighting the big day. Stanley Alan Van Gundy was born on this day in 1959 in Indio, California. Van Gundy grew up in a basketball family -- his father was a coach, he was a coach and his brother was a coach (cue footage of him latching onto Alonzo Mourning's leg at your own discretion).

Van Gundy had a variety of low-level college coaching jobs -- Vermont, Castleton, Canisius, Fordham, UMass Lowell -- before jumping up to the big boys in the Big 10 with a job at Wisconsin. He parlayed that into a lower-level job with the Miami Heat where he eventually worked his way up to head coach.

After being fired midseason of Miami's first championship year, Van Gundy landed on his feet and built a powerhouse in Orlando behind big man Dwight Howard. Van Gundy took the Magic to the Finals in 2009.  He will look to do much the same around big man Andre Drummond. Let's just hope the relationship doesn't end in a bitter divorce like the one in Orlando.

Van Gundy by all accounts is an extremely hard worker, incredibly charitable to his communities and here's to hoping Detroit Bad Boys gets to wish him a happy birthday every year for the next 10 years at least.

With that being said, birthdays are all, of course, about the gifts. And considering how the last time I tried to deliver a gift personally at the Palace I was escorted off the premises, I figured we'd opt for a poll instead.