According to ESPN.com, radio station WKMG in Orlando has reported that Dwight Howard has called owner Rich DeVos to inform him that he wouldn’t play for current coach Stan Van Gundy.
Dwight Howard is currently sitting out due to a bulging disk, but there has been speculation that he hasn’t been fully invested in this season due to his strained relationship with Van Gundy
One of Howards’ representatives has told Espn.com that the story is “Completely made up, BS story”. While this defense of Howard is noble, there’s too much smoke for there not to be fire around this story.
This season has turned out to be a complete waste for the Orlando Magic in respect to this Dwight Howard saga. Once Dwight asked for a trade in the preseason, they should have taken a serious look at ridding themselves of someone who doesn’t want to be there. Though their chances at a championship are infinitely better with him, the turmoil he caused with his wishy washyness is becoming a distraction to what the Orlando Magic need to be focusing on, and that’s winning basketball games.
Everybody looks bad in this; Orlando management looks like they’re allowing one man to hold their organization hostage. Stan Van Gundy looks like the martyr hung out to dry, for just doing his job and coach the team the best he can (up for discussion is how well he’s done said job) and Dwight looks like someone afraid to make a decision and stand behind it no matter the backlash. Everybody in this situation is looking out for their best interest, and that’s where they’re all wrong. They’ve all lost focus on the team goals and now have no chance of reaching that championship in which they strive for.
Considering all the chaos that has gone on, maybe the best course of action is to clean house, and start over. Trade Dwight, fire Stan Van Gundy, and start fresh with a new front office, because right now there’s no reason to believe that this current regime can get this train back on the tracks.