Is Shaq calling the shots in Miami?

Updated: December 13, 2005, 1:37 PM ET
By Chris Sheridan | ESPN Insider
If, as Stan Van Gundy said, he had been thinking of quitting since opening night, a couple of questions need to be asked concerning his resignation Monday as Miami Heat coach.

What, exactly, aside from Van Gundy missing his family, was the underlying source of his overwhelming discomfort?

Shaquille O'Neal, Stan Van Gundy
Funner times for Stan and Shaq.

And how much of a role did Shaquille O'Neal play in making Stan feel so miserable so early in the season?

O'Neal has always held Miami Heat president -- and now coach -- Pat Riley in the highest esteem, and it's hard to fathom his having the same regard for someone like Van Gundy, whose credentials paled by comparison.

So how much sense did it make, in O'Neal's mind, for him to have his career legacy so closely tied to a coach with about one-tenth as many career victories and four fewer championship rings than Riley?

O'Neal was miffed after Miami's Game 7 loss to Detroit in last season's Eastern Conference finals, his postgame comments indicating he felt Van Gundy did not call the right plays during the 125-second meltdown that doomed the Heat's chance to advance to the NBA Finals.