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Jeff Van Gundy rips Dwight Howard during nationally televised game between Lakers and Thunder (VIDEO)

Jan 28, 2013, 2:06 PM EDT

During Sunday’s nationally televised game between the Lakers and Thunder — one where Kobe Bryant racked up 14 assists in helping his team to a much-needed win — color commentator Jeff Van Gundy had some strong words for Dwight Howard.

Howard has been up and down this season, and is clearly not all the way recovered from the back surgery he underwent last summer. But he’s complained about his touches at times, while badly missing defensive rotations and blaming his teammates in the process.

These are the things Van Gundy took issue with in an extended rant during the second quarter on Sunday.

Here are some of the more pointed remarks, as transcribed by LakersNation.

He’s let everybody know ad nauseum that his back hurts OK, and that he is not 100%.

That’s not what people are upset about.

They’re upset about his waffling constantly on everything. This idea that he has to have less touches now? You’re the one that wanted out of the situation in Orlando where you were the featured guy. So this is what I‘ve ascertained that would make him happy:

Highest paid player, on a championship caliber team, first option offensive threat, in a big market, with no pressure, no responsibility and no one to prod him from a coaching standpoint.

Where do you find that in the NBA?

What he should do is say, ‘I wanted out. I wanted here. I’m going to make it work here.’

You should not have to beg a NBA player for energy, effort and unselfishness. Because you are not getting touches doesn’t give you the right to hold your team hostage by not giving your very very best.

Van Gundy was simply saying what the rest of us were thinking, but the passion with which he delivered those statements was interesting. I mean, it came across as a bit personal — almost as if Dwight had done something to a member of Van Gundy’s family at some point in the past.

[via BDL]

  1. ebrownwareagle - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    He’s RIGHT! Coupled with the fact he is shooting less than 50% from the free throw line… It makes him a walking turnover if he is fouled and its not an And 1 situation.

  2. slowclyde86 - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Spot on.

  3. nagidac - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Gundy is 100% right and in this day and age of political correctness, it’s refreshing to hear someone tell them truth. The fact that Dwight got his brother fired makes it even more amazing that he even touched the subject. Way to go, JVG!

    • badintent - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:24 AM

      Everything with JVG is Personal. what a short man complex the dude has. Mourning should have stepped on his head. Bubble gum would have shot out of his holes. Bag of wind. I’m really tired of his bombastic complaining about mug fouls, the dude thinks he’s watching some project ball on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd and 135 Street in Harlem. He’s a fustrated water ball for his high school football team.
      Yeah, Howard is a tool but he and Kobe do have something in common. Both have 9-10 techs, at this rate, they’ll both sit for some games down the stretch drive, which will help the Lakers get more minutes for Gasol and Metta will shoot with much more confidence on his 3’s like last year when Kobe had a 2 week injury period.When Kobe came back, he stressed out Metta , which in turn made Metta take his stress on on Harden. Kaboom !

      • jaypolo22 - Feb 8, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        One of the stupidest basketball posts I’ve seen

        Even Lakers fans agree. Go figure

  4. dannymac17 - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    JVG always keeps it real.

    • spthegr8 - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      @Danny
      Yeah he does!! I like JVG & respect his opinon.. He is also RIGHT ON point with what he said here too. He couldn’t be more RIGHT!!!

  5. bougin89 - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    As a guy that is not a Laker fan but has defended Howard’s play this season on these message boards, I have to say Van Gundy is spot on.

  6. progress2011 - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    We need people like Barkley and JVG….

    They say what all of us are thinking but we don’t have the microphone to say it !

  7. southbeachtalent - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Dwight has received a ton of slack… kinda like Deron.

  8. lyndseymarieee - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    You don’t get paid millions of dollars a year to act like a big child. You’re a grown ass man. Step it up.

  9. loungefly74 - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    i know the kid came straight outta high school but D12 needs to understand…this is his job and that he needs to take it seriously.

  10. bjerkrulez - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    I’m not a big lakers fan but in my opinion they really didn’t need howard…the management just went with the hype (orlando got tired of his attitude)…to me, they had what they need in nash…JVG was 100% correct with his statement

    I feel sorry for Kobe doing literally everything he can to get his 6th ring (now just getting to the playoffs is a challenge), and at that age, he doesn’t need a 7 footer to baby sit (bynum was a lot mature if you ask me). He needs a co-pilot and not a passenger.

    I mean the 2004 team at least made it to the finals, and this team is much better than that on paper

    • bougin89 - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      I have to disagree with your last part about this team being much better on paper than their 2004 team. I think you are greatly undervalueing both Kobe in his prime compared to what he is now and the presence of Shaquille O’neal over Dwight Howard IMO.

  11. jcrileyesq - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Is this the same Van Gundy who is talking about dedication and team effort who QUIT on the Knicks 20 games into a season. For all of Dwight’s complaining would you rather have Howard attempting to play while hurt or the Bynum dude stealing money in Philly?

  12. karlton3 - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    For those of you wondering like I was; yes, Howard also missed the next two free throws to put him at 0-6 over the stretch of this video.

  13. sportsnut101 - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    every reporter should just ask dwight in a live interview where do u want to play and what do u want

    hes the t.o of the nba n might even be worse i hope the lakers just trade him honestly how can he n obe take another yr of this ughh

  14. jordanismyidol - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    JVD was on the money

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