Evans Clinchy
Monday April 9th, 2012

Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy claims that his franchise player tried to get him fired -- but according to Otis Smith, the man in the general manager's office at Amway Arena, Dwight Howard made no such request.

"He never asked me," Smith told ESPN. "I didn't have that knowledge."

Van Gundy, addressing the media at shootaround before Thursday's game against the New York Knicks, told a throng of reporters that he knew Howard wanted him gone, saying that Magic "management" had notified him of the center's request. Smith this weekend denied any involvement in talks to oust the coach, and he said both parties were to blame for the disagreement.

"If he did ask he's wrong, and for Stan to address it in public, that is wrong," Smith said. Smith confirmed that Van Gundy would be Orlando's coach for the rest of this season. The Magic, coming off an 88-82 win last night over the Philadelphia 76ers, are 33-23 with 10 games to go. They currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference.

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