An NBA blog from Newsday's Bobby Bonett
Stan Van Gundy: Dwight Howard wants me fired
How much longer will Stan Van Gundy be coaching the Magic?
Van Gundy told several reporters this morning, including Newsday's Al Iannazzone, that Magic management informed the coach that Dwight Howard wants him fired.
According to Iannazzone and other reporters on Twitter, Howard, next to speak with the media, walked in and hugged Van Gundy, unaware of the news the head coach had delivered. Howard continued to deny the story, despite Van Gundy's acknowledgement moments before according to reporters.
On Tuesday, WKMG Local 6's David Pingalore, citing sources, reported that Howard had demanded Van Gundy be fired. However, a player in the report said that he did not thinking Van Gundy's firing was "a done deal yet."
A media circus has followed the Magic center for most of the year. Prior to the season, Howard had demanded a trade. As late as the day before the trading deadline, it still seemed like a strong possibility the Magic would deal Howard, who at the time had an early termination option on his contract, one he was expected to exercise.
However, on March 15, the day of the deadline, Howard officially waived his ETO, effectively meaning he'd be with the Magic through the 2012-13 season.
Several reporters on Twitter have speculated whether Van Gundy will coach the team tonight -- and rightfully so. Considering Howard's insistence on pulling the strings in Orlando, this could be the type of relationship that is beyond repair. And the Magic, in the thick of the playoff race despite being one of the league's most dysfunctional teams, may need a coaching change if they have any hope of making it past the first round.