Stan And Dwight: We Talk!

ORLANDO — You could probably safely assume Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has spoken with Derrick Rose daily, hourly and minute-ly, if possible, because that’s what coaches do. They’re always in communication with their superstar, especially in tough times, as Rose is going through as he prepares for knee surgery.

But Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard? The coach who said his superstar was trying to get him fired, and the star who hasn’t strongly endorsed the coach?

Well, although they’re currently on separate coasts, they’re keeping in touch. So they say.

Howard was found on the mean streets of Beverly Hills recently by gossip site TMZ, in the wake of back surgery, which was performed in Los Angeles. And Howard made it appear he and Van Gundy are downright chummy.

They’ve talked “a bunch of times” said Howard.

Which means, more than once.

“What’s the definition of a bunch?” asked Van Gundy with a shrug before Game 3 of the Pacers-Magic series. “We’ve communicated before the playoffs started and then after Game 2 texted back and forth.”

Pressed for details, Van Gundy took a pass.

“Can we talk about basketball instead of relationships? We’re communicating.”

The issue of Howard and Van Gundy has been a sensitive and uncomfortable one ever since their strange back-and-forth a month ago. Neither side has come out publicly and clarified their relationship. Are they on the same page? Does one want the other? Will Howard go to management and demand to have Van Gundy coach next season? Or demand that Van Gundy get the boot? Or say nothing at all?

If nothing else, the open lines of communication show a thawing between the two. Whether that’s enough to repair the damage is debatable at this point, and probably won’t be known until the offseason, which could arrive by next week for the Magic.

Until then, Howard, who says he can’t fly from L.A. and re-join the team because his doctors advise against it, has repeated the Magic’s playoffs mantra “We all we got.”

The Magic have struggled without Howard, as expected, losing two of the first three games. Howard said he has watched every game and agonized through it all.

He added: “I’m a little sad I can’t be with my teammates for the playoffs. I feel like I’m in jail right now. It’s a tough time for me and my team. They need me and I need them. I’ve been talking to the guys after each and every game, supporting them and telling them what they need to do.”

And finally, about the idea of Howard staying away purposely? “I would never quit on my team, my fans or my coach.”

Yes, he remembered to back the coach.

This is just something to remember come summer.


  1. Judy Vickery says:

    Dwight will be gone and it’s a shame if we lose one of the best coaches the Orlando Magic has had, but I don’t like some of Stan’s choices in backup players, he stays with the same guys even when they are not making shots, he needs to use the bench players during the regular season to make his bench stronger. The few guys he has played since Howard has been out have done ok, but if they had more experience in the regular season maybe we could have done better in the play offs.
    A die hard Magic fan!

    • Magic Fan says:

      Do you honestly believe that. Stan had to improvise so many time this year from players being out that it was impossible to do what you said. I think Stan did a wonderful job with what he had. Howard for one did NOT play up to his potential, This has been a sad,sad season!

  2. Peter says:

    If I were Orlando’s GM, I would trade Dwight out (regardless of whether he wants to stay or not) for two very good young, borderline near all-stars (maybe Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey), keep Van Gundy, and try to get deep in the Playoffs just to make Dwight burn.

    • JHCT says:

      That’d be nice but I doubt Detroit is going to make a trade like that without Dwight signing long term AND I doubt he (Dwight) would sign long term in Detroit. He might as well move to Turkey and play with Allen (I don’t even know where Allan is but for the sake of the humor I hope he’s still there)

  3. gary says:


  4. joseh nohel ferrer says:

    howard your gay balls

  5. HELL NO says:

    DWIGHT IS DONE, He got that serius back injury now god knows how much time he needs to recover fully, if he ever fully recover,Bynum is better now anyway and D12 wont fit to any team with another superstar, he DOESNT want any other super stars in his team,he wants to be the best player in his team,hes immature.

  6. Kobefan says:


  7. duh says:

    fan of dwight but what he’s been doing is a bit ridiculous.
    he’s afraid to get the next lebron treatment with all this antics and
    ‘showing’ the media how he and stan are communicating.
    stan knows better.

    i wish dwight would just shut the fart up. if he does something ‘good’
    let it be behind curtains. no need to tell the world! it makes you
    look desperate and scared of what treatment you are going to get
    with what you are planning to do this summer.
    i am 100% diwght’s not staying.

  8. DurantFAN says:

    Howard has been a True superStar…
    He says the right thing and he does the right thing for his team. However, I thought he should have just not re-signed for another year..He should have done what is best for himself because we all know he will eventually leave anyway..
    Stan Van Gundy was completely wrong for revealing that Howard wanted him fire…and now he says “what is a couple of times?” Seem like Stan can’t close his mouth about internal affairs…Players definitely do not respect him. It is time for him to just leave…

    • Peter says:

      Howard is a big child who hasn’t the slightest grasp of how a person should carry themselves professionally – he’s a two-faced spoiled brat.

      First he spends the entire season saying he wants to be traded, only taking that back and insisting he wants to stay every subsequent time somebody speaks to him. Then he said he won’t resign with the Magic- waits until mere hours before the trade deadline, and changes his mind saying Orlando is where he wants to be.

      Then he goes and requests that his coach be fired, but then acts chumy towards the same coach right afterwards, acting as if nothing is wrong and he loves the guy.

      Then he goes on trying to make himself look like a nice guy buy raving to the media about how much he’s been communicating with the above coach, which turns out a major exhageration in an attempt to make himself look like a good guy.

      In the meantime his constant carelessly aggresive play on the court (he’s a flagrant foul waiting to happen)..the guy is a shipwreck. Good on Stan for having the balls to speak the truth and not give in to Dwight’s antics.

    • Mik378 says:

      Just imagine if you were in Van Gundy’s shoes…

      You have a star player that the public loves as if he can do no wrong, but behind closed doors he creates nothing but havok in the locker room. Messes up team chemistry with his contant mind-changing about whether he wants to stay or not, then on top of all of this you find out he’s gone behind your back to management and asked them to fire you…yet next thing he’s coming up to you and acting like your best buddy.

      How would you feel about it? Knowing that the guy is doing all of this damage to your team, undermining you, trying to have you out of a job and turn everyone against you…and yet because he’s a public hero all of the blame goes on you.

      I know what I’d want – I’d want the public to see the truth even if it means losing my job (as I’m probably going to lose it anyway). If I’m going down because of him, may as well take that little prick down with me!

      • UMAD says:

        Both Peter and Mik378, you dont have any idea whatsoever, what it is to be in Dwights shoes. How can you say that he’s a big baby if he has done such wonders to the Magic organization, and no wonder they are desperate to keep him, cuz he is one hell of a man. Now you are judging him for these few months that were tough on him, as a person, he is just human.

        Van Gundy (I think he’s a good coach, a very good one) should not have said what was going on in public. He’s acting so hurt, by Howards request, so hes really trying to pull him down? Cmon, thats low, if Howard does not feel that Stan is a championship coach, so be it, that doesnt mean the managemant is going to fire him, if they dont feel that way too.

        The only thing Magic need to focus on now, is getting better players alongside Dwight, at the end of the day, that is the only thing that can keep him in Orlando. A bunch of role players + Howy wont beat Miami in a 7 game series, its not about the coach.