“I know for a fact that he’s a master of panic, and when it gets time for his team to go in the postseason and do certain things, he will let them down because of his panic. I’ve been there before, I’ve played for him.” – Shaquille O’Neal on Stan Van Gundy- March 4, 2009
At the Orlando Magic shootaround yesterday, Stan Van Gundy revealed to the Orlando and NBA press that he knows from sources within the Orlando Magic organization that All-Star center Dwight Howard has asked for him to be fired.
Van Gundy’s ”liberation” moment has opened another chapter in the simmering Dwight Howard/Orlando Magic saga that seemed to cool down Howard said that he would return for next season instead of seeking a trade. Obviously, Van Gundy was more concerned about getting camera time instead of trying to put the brakes on a Magic losing streak that has reached five games. Last night the Magic were thumped at home by the NY Knicks 96-80, Dwight Howard went scoreless in the first half and finished with only eight points and eight rebounds in nearly 40 minutes of action.
I’m curious as to why Van Gundy made a b-line for the practice floor once Howard came on the scene and didn’t stick around to hear the obvious barrage of questions that Howard was going to face in lieu of his comments.
What’s even more disturbing is that Van Gundy is being made the victim and Howard the scapegoat. If Howard was man enough to voice his displeasure in Orlando and backpedal on that by returning next season shunning the offer of ownership to have a say in who stays and who goes at the end of this season, who’s to say that this unnamed source isn’t just playing with Van Gundy’s head – allowing him to cut his own rope.