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Everyone denies report Dwight Howard called team owner about Van Gundy

Apr 19, 2012, 3:50 PM EDT

Orlando Magic v New York Knicks Getty Images

Let us start with a good reminder for reading a lot of stories in today’s journalism world — every anonymous source has a motive. If someone “leaks” something to a reporter its because they are trying to spin the story for their own motives.

With that, we bring you the updated report from Orlando’s WKMG’s 6 Sports Director David Pingalore — this is the same guy who broke the story Dwight Howard wanted coach Stan Van Gundy fired and earlier this week reported Howard would not be back for the playoffs. Now he takes everything a step farther.

Pingalore was told through sources that have direct knowledge of the call that it was taken in the DeVos suite at Amway Center by DeVos sometime during the Magic’s game with the Atlanta Hawks.

According to the sources, Howard is still upset with Van Gundy, confirming Pingalore’s report from earlier this month that Howard went to Magic management asking for Van Gundy to be fired. Sources confirm the call to DeVos came after Howard visited Los Angeles to get diagnosed for his sore back.

Not long after that report came out, denials started raining down like Ryan Anderson corner threes.

First came this from ESPN:

But multiple league sources directly affiliated with the Magic and Howard disputed the television report to’s Michael Wallace.

“It’s a completely made up, B.S. story,” one of Howard’s representatives told

Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated sent this out on Sulia:

Regarding report that Dwight Howard told Orlando owner Rich DeVos he wouldn’t play for coach Stan Van Gundy, a source close to the situation says it’s not accurate. It speaks volumes that people are ready to believe it, though. Dwight’s PR is a nightmare these days.

The Orlando Sentinel talked to Stan Van Gundy about it.

Of the WKMG-TV report, Van Gundy told the Sentinel Thursday afternoon in a text message, “I make nothing of them and I have no comment.”

My thought — look, Howard doesn’t like playing for SVG. Apparently nobody does. We get it. But with his good image taking a hit, if Howard’s back let him out on the court for the playoffs he would be out there. I don’t think he’s doing it to sabotage the coach — Van Gundy is gone when the season is over anyway. This is the NBA, a superstar player always wins the power struggle with the coach because that level of player is hard to come by. Howard knows he’s won the war, he’d go out and fight another battle if he could.

But that doesn’t mean people around all the participants don’t have their reasons to spin the story.

  1. rickditka - Apr 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I think what Howard wants more than anything is to complain. He doesn’t seem to realize that he is not good enough to be the centerpiece of a championship team.

  2. dannymac17 - Apr 19, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    I hate everything about this whole situation.

    This is Brett Favre drama without the retiring.

  3. raidmagic - Apr 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    I believe there are outside sources “leaking” these storiesand I think the motive is to drive a wedge between the Magic and Howard so they trade him.

  4. charlutes - Apr 19, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    “My thought —look, Howard doesn’t like playing for SVG. Apparently nobody does. We get it.”

    if this is true then why does everyone always say how good of a coach he is? based on his complex system of give it to Howard or shoot a 3?

  5. lakerluver - Apr 19, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Howard’s such a hypocrite. Putting his arm around the dude one day, stabbing him in the back the next. If the Magic think the Shaq era ending badly, wait until they see how the Howard era ends!!

  6. gavinbethell - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Big Snitch

  7. jonka - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Enough is enough, Dwight really needs to just make a dam decision. Either stay with the magic, play your game and keep your mouth shut or tell the team he intends to leave.
    Is Maverick Carter running Dwights PR or what???

  8. jagwar73 - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Agree with rickditka, Dwight can’t win leading a team. He reminds me of a big clown. Think of all the previous championship winning teams and who their leader was. This list includes (in no order) Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade…. Dwight is not like these guys. They are single-minded in winning a championship. Dwight wants to joke around and have a good time. This is the tone he sets for that Magic team! He won’t win in Orlando until he changes or until they get someone to lead him. Ultimately he’ll have to change his attitude to win. I think deep down he knows he’s not a leader, and that’s OK. If he teams up with Deron in NJ, Orlando, or Dallas, he might win.

  9. hojo20 - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Howard needs to grow up.

  10. willcoop - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    The bottom line is Dwight Howard checked out on his team weeks ago. PR nightmare my ass, for a guy that’s never won jack how does he think he has the right to be entitled to anything?

  11. willcoop - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    I’m glad he didn’t go to Chicago. Don’t need his poison. No matter whet he goes, he will never be the number one option.

  12. willcoop - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    You can bet if he went to LA Kobe wouldn’t put up with that bs. They are about winning not posing for the cameras.

  13. nokoolaidcowboy - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    He’s very immature. Think about a grown man planking. Putting his arm around Van Gundy was hilarious. His dumb azz didn’t even realize what he was walking into.

  14. klownboy - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    I told you that the Magic should have dealt Howard.

  15. lakerluver - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Where are the clowns now who mocked me for saying Bynum’s the best center in the NBA?!! D12 has reached his peak, Bynum is just now scratching the surface of his potential.

  16. davidly - Apr 20, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Well, it appears that upwards of ninety percent of commentariat here believe the story. Seems hatred for professional athletes trumps using all lower case text to criticize a journalists spelling or grammar.

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