Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy alleges that Dallas Mavericks big man Brendan Haywood sucker-punched Dwight Howard in the back on Friday night, but Haywood has denied it, and apparently the NBA powers that be aren't buying it either. Haywood will not be disciplined, a source tells Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas.
Van Gundy referred to the incident as "really ridiculous" and vowed to have the league review the tape, but Haywood insisted that Van Gundy's allegations were far from the truth.
"I guess he's got something no one else has," Haywood said. "Like I said, it's a physical game and sometimes guys get testy with elbows thrown, forearms, but no one throws any punches out there. Most of the NBA guys, without a doubt, it's all WWE to us. We're fake tough guys. No one throws any real punches. It's unfortunate Stan feels that way. I know he has to protect his guy, but that's just not the case.
"No one has any footage of it I guess except him, so unless he had (assistant coach) Patrick Ewing on the bench taping with his iPhone, I don't think that really happened." Howard played 44 minutes in the Magic's loss Friday to the Mavs, recording 19 points and 15 rebounds; he then missed Saturday's practice and yesterday's loss to the Denver Nuggets with -- yes, you guessed it -- back spasms.