HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Well, there’s no need for anonymous sources anymore.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy confirmed it for the world to hear this morning in Orlando. Dwight Howard has asked management to replace Van Gundy as coach, confirming a Wednesday report from an Orlando television station. The Magic coach confirmed it to reporters moments before Howard came in and hugged Van Gundy in front of the crowd and denied the story, not realizing that Van Gundy had just confirmed it (more from the Orlando Sentinel):
“I know he has,” Van Gundy told reporters after the Magic completed their shootaround. “That’s just the way it is. Again, I’ve been dealing with that all year. It’s not anything real bothersome. You go out and do your job.”
When asked about the story, Howard did not deny Van Gundy’s claim. But he did ask the assembled crowd of reporters to reveal their source.
The tweets from some of the reporters in attendance provided a blow-by-blow and illustrated the surreal nature of the event:
- Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com — Stan Van: yes I know Dwight Howard has asked for me to b fired..wow
- Frank Isola of the New York Daily News — Dwight Howard, moments after putting his arm around Stan, denies he wants him fired. Wow, crazy times in Orlando
- Howard Beck of The New York Times — Absolutely surreal: Dwight comes out and denies reports that he wants SVG fired, though SVG himself just said it on record moments earlier
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel — Dwight: “I want to get Stan fired/ Come on.” He then joined Stan in media huddle and started joking Thursday
Today’s crazy turn of events is just the latest in a bizarre, season-long trail of foolishness involving Howard and the Magic. From his training camp trade request to his 11th hour flip-flopping about staying or going, to his deciding to stick around for another year in Orlando to this latest mess … when will the madness end?
Next stop is TNT tonight at 7 p.m. when the Magic and Knicks square off at Amway Center.
You have to wonder how coach and superstar handle themselves with the entire basketball world watching now that the truth, according to Van Gundy, has finally come out …