Dwightmare: Magic Fading Down in Orlando

Welcome back to the Dwight Howard Show! … where minds change every five minutes, and the entertainment is never scripted.  In the latest episode to the Dwight Howard story, the relationship with Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy appears to have taken a major downturn.

After a report on Wednesday from a local station said Howard had asked Magic management to fire Van Gundy, the coach said after Thursday’s morning shootaround that he knows that to be true.

“I know he has,” Van Gundy told reporters. “That’s just the way it is. Again, I’ve been dealing with that all year. It’s not anything real bothersome. You go out and do your job.”

Howard then supposedly walked up to Van Gundy and gave him a hug, not knowing the coach had just confirmed a report that Howard was denying.

“Why would I want Stan fired with 12 games to go?” said Howard, questioning the source of the information.

In this crazy back and forth being played in Orlando, Stan now seems to be the hero, and Dwight the villain. As a fan of basketball, this is something you never want to see. The NBA should be about professionalism, and maybe more important, commitment. However, if I look at this as objectively as possible, there’s another point to note. Though Dwight Howard is wrong for doing this, he’s also a really frickin good at basketball. The number of coaches out there is far higher than the number of franchise centers. If Orlando is positive that firing Van Gundy would keep Howard with the team on a long-term basis, it could be the correct move.

“It’s not a matter of being committed to me. It’s a matter of being committed to the team and trying to do everything you can to help the team win games. That’s all I’m concerned with,” said Van Gundy. “As far as the other stuff, I don’t think that matters. I don’t need love and support here at my job. I’ll turn to my family for that. I don’t need these guys giving me hugs and pats on the back.”

With all that said, the truth is that Howard does seem immature, spoiled, and very destructive.  Today has become a pivotal point in Dwight Howard’s career. What should Orlando do?

The Magic should pay Van Gundy for the rest of his contract (this season and next), so the organization can move forward. You can’t have the head coach and the star player butting heads like this during a playoff push. I honestly don’t see this as a salvageable situation, one beyond repair. The Magic should let SVG go because he doesn’t deserve this (no one does), and doesn’t deserve to be tortured any further in a season already damaged by Howard’s demands.

What is becoming more and more apparent is that Howard could be [a true villain] what critics assumed LeBron to be.

The Magic play host to the New York Knicks tonight.