Dwight Howard did not ask Magic GM Otis Smith to fire coach Stan Van Gundy, Smith announced before the Magic’s 88-82 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Baseball spreads
“He in no way asked me; I did not have that awareness,” Smith expounded.
Van Gundy asserted he knew Howard, the Magic’s franchise player, had requested that he be fired. Smith announced both parties were to blame for the general public altercation. Baseball lines
“If he did ask he’s wrong, and for Stan to address it in public, that is wrong,” Smith said.
Smith also confirmed that Van Gundy will coach the Magic through the rest of the season. But when questioned if Van Gundy will return next year, Smith wasn’t sure.
“Don’t have the correct answer for that,” Smith asserted. “I don’t have the answer to who is going to be on our roster, either.”
Howard made a case for returning next season. The 6-foot-11 center, who was charged with quitting after scoring 8 points with 8 rebounds in a 96-80 loss to the N.Y Knicks, denied the allegation.
“But I want everybody to know I haven’t ever give up on my team,” Howard related after the game.” (I) know I’ve had some bad games, (but) I should never give up on my team. Everybody needs to know that.”
Van Gundy, for his side, wants to return to Orlando next season, he announced to a newspaper.
“I don’t have an eventuality in my head where I wouldn’t,” Van Gundy said. “They’re going to have to make choices. But I’m a basketball coach and I know this: I don’t really want to go anywhere else. I mean, I adore Orlando, and here is where I’d like to be. And I want to coach.”
A source reported before last month’s trade deadline that Orlando’s front office had given Howard the power to determine the fates of Smith and Van Gundy at the end of the season if he made an agreement not to back out of his agreement.
Howard decided against opting out and turning into a free agent after this season. But he has declared he does not want the guilt of determining the destinations of Smith and Van Gundy.
On Friday, Howard and Van Gundy concluded to focus on the team’s play on the court.
“I think we have respect for each other irrespective of whatever is being recounted or being put out there,” Howard asserted. “As a coach, I have the highest respect for Stan. He has been a great coach on our team for the last 5 years. So I don’t believe that’s the matter. I believe whatever happened, anything was declared, was recounted. But the one thing we will be able to handle right now is tonight.”
Smith concluded with the truce going ahead this season.
“Dwight’s going to have to play and Stan is gonna have to coach,” Smith said.
Also, Atlanta Braves executive Fredi Gonzalez stood up for Van Gundy.
“I think the owner has to step up and sign Stan for a few years more, unless Howard wants to take a salary cut and be the head coach,” Gonzalez declared before the game in opposition to the New York Mets.