Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy acknowledged that he knew star player Dwight Howard had demanded to management that he be fired, according to ESPN.
"I was told it was true by people in our management," Van Gundy said Wednesday, according to ESPN. "They haven't told me anything, and they don't need to." Van Gundy replied when asked if management made a decision to fire him.
Earlier in the week, Magic owner Rich DeVos denied that the center has the power to make those kind of coaching changes. A day after denying to ESPN's Chris Broussard in a text message that he wanted his coach out, Howard appeared surprised when informed Van Gundy confirmed that management told him of the center's demand to oust the coach. Howard, taken aback, asked reporters to cite the source for the claim, and reporters kept reminding him that his coach had offered confirmation.
Despite the rift between coach and player, the Magic are in playoff position with a 32-22 record, third in the Eastern Conference. They next face the New York Knicks tonight in Orlando.