Skip to main content

Dwight Howard: Magic Front Office First Discussed Firing Stan Van Gundy

Dwight Howard says Magic front office, not him, discussed firing coach Stan Van Gundy

Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard says he has always been misunderstood when it came to his relationship with former coach Stan Van Gundy.

Howard explained his stance about what happened in a new profile written by SI's Lee Jenkins.

During the final month of the regular season in 2012, Van Gundy, then the Orlando Magic head coach, held a press conference saying that Howard had requested that the front office get rid him.

A few minutes later, Howard showed up at the media scrum and put his arm around Van Gundy having no idea what his coach had just told reporters. He also denied what Van Gundy had just said.

To hear Howard tell it, he has been the victim of more subtle misunderstandings than Larry David. The excruciatingly awkward press conference, when Stan Van Gundy confirmed that Howard was lobbying the Magic front office to fire him, only for an unsuspecting Howard to join Van Gundy and deny what the coach claimed?

The Magic finished with a 37–29 record during the lockout-shortened season and were bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

“That previous summer, the front office asked me about Stan, and I told them I thought he was losing his voice with the team. But they were the ones who said they should start looking for other coaches," Howard said.

Van Gundy was later fired and Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Magic have not made the postseason since that season.

Howard has since played for the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks, and Van Gundy will be entering his fourth season with the Detroit Pistons.