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J.J. Redick opens up about “weird” season, Dwight Howard

May 11, 2012, 8:30 AM EDT

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I’m not sure any word but “weird” does justice to the Orlando Magic season.

It started with then Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide essentially drunk-dialing Dwight Howard and asking him to stay in Orlando. It didn’t seem like things could get more odd, but that was just the start, something that culminated in the day coach Stan Van Gundy told the media Howard wanted him fired just as Howard unknowingly walked into the press conference. The season ended with Howard injured and the Magic easily ousted by the Pacers.

Orlando guard J.J. Redick was on NBC’s SportsTalk and opened up about the year to host Russ Thaler. Great interview. Below are transcripts of the highlights.

About Howard:

“Within the team I think our perception has changed a little bit. I don’t see any way it couldn’t. But I am a Dwight supporter, I played with him for six years, I’ve been through some battles with him, won a lot of games tagging along side of him. He has been great for our organization.”

“I think as anyone can attest, sometimes we get confused in life. Sometimes we get bad advice. I think Dwight at his core, at his heart is a great kid, a great person. Maybe he just got a little confused, a little sidetracked about what was important and then at the end of the year he gets hurt and can’t play. It wasn’t a great year for him. I’m sure he’ll bounce back, get healthy and have a great year next year.”

On Howard’s relationship with Stan Van Gundy:

“To be honest with you, it didn’t seem worse or better than any other year. Those two have built a relationship based on winning and before things really started to turn for us we were 32-18 and had the fifth best record in the league. So for 50 of the 66 games this year that relationship was pretty solid.

“I’m not sure what happened and what transpired with management, with Dwight’s alleged request for Stan to get fired, I’m not privy to all the inside information. Certainly at some point that relationship started to change a little bit in March, and from that point on things got weird.”

About the press conference where Van Gundy said Howard wanted him fired, then Howard unknowingly walked in on it.

“We were all a little shocked. I cold plunge right after shootaround (take an ice bath). I had got my shots up after shootaround and had sort of seen Stan talking to the media and everything seemed normal from afar. Well I went back, grabbed my phone and jumped in the cold plunge and I have like 15 text messages and my twitter account is blowing up with “What did Stan just do?” So I pulled up the video and saw it. By the time I got out of the cold plunge and back in the locker room all the guys on the team knew what was going on.

“It was a little shocking in that it’s not something you see every day, obviously. I think Stan, for whatever reason, just decided to put it all out there. He said in the interview he is not a fan of BS and I can attest to that having played with him for five years. He doesn’t like BS and decided not to BS with the media, I guess.”

On Dwight’s plans:

“I don’t know. I think there are going to be some decisions made about the future and direction of our organization. I don’t know what’s going to happen with Otis Smith, our GM, I don’t know what is going to happen with Stan. “

  1. trickybastard - May 11, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Please, JJ Reddick did not open up. Nice misleading title to your article Kurt.

    He stayed on the fence about SVG and Dwight and told a story about taking a bath.

    Big deal, we learned nothing new.

  2. newgene1187 - May 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    well we definitely learned that only someone who went to Duke would say, “I’m not privy to all the inside information”. Came on J, this is the nba. Where you don’t have to use intelligence and fancy words. Just play ball and make money….well..make money. That fact that something like this is going on shows that the love for the game is lost. Just save your money and don’t go bankrupt when you stop playing…

  3. mungman69 - May 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Yes, nothing new here. Please move along.

    • southbeachtalent - May 11, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      I’ll linger if I want.

      Dwight has been nothing but a class-less douche. Here’s a guy that actually quit on his team, quite literally gave up. For no good reason. They would have posed a huge threat to the Heat had Dwight not quit. I have never seen anything like it.

  4. granadafan - May 11, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Basically he said that Dwight received bad advise and quit on the team. Also, he said that Stan dropped a bomb on the entire team. Lots of immaturity on the Magic

  5. ranoversquarells - May 11, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    The fact Dwight is still referred to as a kid tells us all we need to know about that whole situation.

  6. hus10188 - May 11, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    I too thought that was one of the more telling quotes of the whole interview too.
    Bottom line, wherever Dwight goes he has to cut out this cheesy, smiley persona and for the next 10 years go out and be the most dedicated professional he can be.

    He may very well be getting bad advice but he’s clearly immature and thus why he needs to be told what to do in the first place. He quite frankly needs to grow up, period

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