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Report: Stan Van Gundy told Dwight Howard to go to Houston

Oct 2, 2013, 10:55 AM EDT

Newly signed Houston Rockets player Dwight Howard during news conference in Houston Reuters

Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard are still tight. Despite all the drama in Orlando a couple years back they text regularly and both say they have a good relationship. What, you’ve never fought with a friend then made up? That’s what we guys do.

So when Dwight Howard was faced last summer with the biggest decision off his career, it should be no shock he turned to a favorite coach and friend for advice.

That advice, via Bill Reiter of Fox Sports:

If this is true, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Van Gundy is going to look at things from a basketball perspective, and as we have said before Houston was the best basketball decision.

With Howard and James Harden, plus good role players such as Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin and other s on the roster this is a team with the foundation to win and win big. They have the pieces in place. The Lakers are in transition now as Kobe Bryant winds down his career, they could have the pieces in place to win again in a couple years, if you trust management to make the smart moves and be able to woo free agents.

Howard went with the sure thing. It was the smart move.

But now the pressure is on him — nothing is being handed to him and there is no backing out to get to another city. This is the team that will ultimately define his legacy in the NBA, these next several years. Now he has to earn it.

  1. texansfan713 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Damn these stories just keep coming. Was their anyone who told Howard not to join the rockets? Next I am going to hear the pope told him to join the rockets. I love the rockets, but I am tired of reading about this subject.

    Can we please leave the dead horse alone?

    • smoothaswilkes - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      Your pleas fall on deaf ears. Just another deflection of responsibility by Dwight. Good luck with him this season.

      • texansfan713 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM

        I suppose so.

        I would just prefer to hear about the rockets as a whole. I am happy to watch the Howard experiment unfold. I am just tired hearing about how many people told him to join the rockets. It is done, over with; the past. The season is close and I want to hear real news.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      Dead horse? Dwight hasn’t even played a single game in a Rockets uniform. Imagine what will happen if the Rockets struggle and the Lakers go on a roll. This horse is still fresh and loves the slop!

  2. datcrazybok - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    One of the funniest moments I’ve seen was when Dwight Howard went to Orlando management to get SVG fired. Journalist asks SVG if Howard went to management to get him fired. SVG, in his typical brutally honest self, tells the truth. “Yeah, he went to management and asked them to fire me.”

    Not even a minute later, Dwight Howard walks in and same journalist asks him about it, which DH, in his typical full of crap self, doesn’t tell the truth and denies it. Journalist… “Uhm… Stan JUST told us that you did.”

    Cue awkward silence broken up by stuttering and mumbling. LOL. Man, that was great. I haven’t laughed at an interview like I laughed at that one in a long time.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      Yes, we all have access to the internet too and have seen this video many times. But thanks for the refresher.

  3. ji8888 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    I got this feeling every team will be headhunting the rockets now. Dwight has left a bad taste in a number of players and coaches around the league with his diva behavior.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      I don’t think anyone really cares except the Lakers maybe.

      • justtoldya - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:20 PM

        and the best thing is the Lakers won’t be able to do anything about it, the Lakers suck this coming season.

  4. wsuperman4445 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Dwight is just being his typical self not taking responsibility. this comment is just encase things don’t work out in Houston then he can blame others.. I frankly think his best days are behind him but as they say we will see now he has the team and players to make a run at the finals. to gauge this coming season a success I will say it is if the Rockets get at least to the second round in the play offs. at least then we know they are on the right track I won’t predict the finals as of yet but second round then I will give it to them.

  5. honeyboywilson - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    I know everybody keeps saying that the Rockets are loaded. But I’m just not seeing it. They look OK to me, but not a dominant team. Hope I’m wrong.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      They have arguably two of the top 10 players in the league on their team. They have Omer Asik to either play behind Howard or sometimes next to him – a huge luxury in both cases. Chandler Parsons is a real player. Jeremy Lin was awesome for two weeks once. 😉

      They have a good team. “Dominant” is a leap too far but if they happen to gel really well they could really surprise in the West.

    • justtoldya - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      Yeah people said the Rockets were not going to be good last year before the season started (many predicted bottom of the west along with Suns and etc) even after they signed Harden. Many people expected Harden to not play well being the star player instead of being the third option as he was in OKC. But the Rockets made the playoffs and throughout most of the season ranked higher the Lakers who were suppose to be contenders. Now the expectations for the Rocket are higher perhaps they will exceed the expectations once again.

  6. henryd3rd - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    This is shaping up to be an interesting NBA season. Dwight going Lin and Harden, Kobe’s career is winding down, Golden State looks to be for real and the Clippers with Doc at the helm are loaded. Indiana gets Granger back and they look strong. So can someone tell me why are we not talking about the teams that faced off in the NBA Finals?

    Are Miami and San Antonio still playing in the NBA? Then why must we continue to run with this tired Dwight Howard story? Can wait till the real season begins

  7. kb2408 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    “The foundation to win, and win big.” I guess I agree, if you consider 50-60 wins a season and maybe a trip to a conference finals or two, winning big.

    • detroitbasketballfan - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      2014 -2015 is possibly the start of their contending, they need to solve the roster first at pf and pg

    • casualcommenter - Oct 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      That’s about 10-20 more regular season wins and 1-2 rounds deeper in the playoffs than he would’ve gotten with the Lakers, so Van Gundy’s advice was good.

      • kb2408 - Oct 2, 2013 at 7:16 PM

        That might be good enough in Houston… But in Los Angeles, only Championship Banners matter. And last I checked, the LAKERS have 16 hanging up in the Staples Center.

      • justtoldya - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        KB then get use to the Lakers not being good enough for the Laker Fans for years to come. Like the Dallas Cowboy fans these days.

  8. drago2012 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Dwight Howard has all the physical tools to be a great basketball player, but in the end he will not accomplish anything because he has no mental toughness!! He will be known as a paper tiger in the historical pile called the NBA. He will always run and hide when it gets hot in the kitchen or at minimum blame someone else. Actually he has no game either!!! To be great in the NBA you have to have the ability to create a good shot for yourself and i mean every time you touch the ball. He is a liability in the closing minutes of every game because he cannot shoot free throws. Most of his stats are put up during meaningless stretches of each game!!!! He is no a franchise type player, a good player but that is it!!!

    • jimeejohnson - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      I think…you’re lying.

  9. beijae50 - Oct 3, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    I think SVG knew Dwight would crumble in LA because of his inability to handle the pressure. Case in point, look how he crumbled in Orlando when the Orlando Press started on him.

  10. scbaby2013 - Oct 8, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    ^ agreed. Shaq was right. D12 can’t handle pressure well. He just wants to have fun and lose in the finals to kb24. Hope rockets lose a lot

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