Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy decide to put issues aside, Concentrate on Basketball – NBA Update
Dwight Howard and his Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy have decided to concentrate on basketball and the playoffs.
Howard and Van Gundy had a sort of falling out on Thursday when the latter revealed to the press that Howard wanted him fired. This started 2 days of drama and speculation, during which Orlando was handed their fifth consecutive
loss, at the hands of the New York Knicks, and slid down to 6th in the Eastern Conference.
After the defeat, Howard and Van Gundy had a meeting with Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith, and decided that it was time to move forward from this issue and concentrate on the remainder of the season, and then the playoffs.
Van Gundy started the issue in a press conference on Thursday morning when he told reporters he had been informed by high ranking officials in the Orlando Magic team that Howard wanted him gone. Howard came walking into the conference
minutes after Van Gundy had spoken about the issue and gave his coach a hug, unaware about what had transpired.
With the issue now out in the open, one wonders if Howard and Van Gundy will be able to co-operate on the court.
Van Gundy, for one, thinks they will;
“It wasn't awkward last night. It wasn't awkward today. It wasn't any different than it was two days ago, three days ago, two weeks ago, three weeks ago or anything else” said Van Gundy about interacting with Dwight.
When asked, Howard also refused to discuss the issue any further, and said that he and his coach had decided to keep everything private.
“We keep that in the family” said Howard when asked about the conversation that transpired between him and his coach after this issue went public.
Van Gundy was however persistent that he only wanted to clear the air regarding the issue, and that he prefers that things are out in the open.
With the all drama going on with the Magic off court, the performance of the team has taken a nose dive. They have lost their previous five games, and have slid down to 6th position in the conference.
A slide down to 6th could mean that they face Indiana Pacers in the first round of the Playoffs. Before, they were looking at a first round clash with Boston Celtics. The Magic now need to concentrate on basketball and
keep them away from any distraction. It is a crucial period in the season, with teams battling for playoff positioning.
Philadelphia is only 4 wins behind Orlando, and just like we saw with San Antonio displacing Oklahoma City from the top spot in the West, it is only a matter of a few losses and one slides down the standings. Orlando cannot afford
to slide any further, as a 7th place in the conference would mean they would clash with Miami in the first round. And Orlando, ideally would want to delay the Miami fixture till later in the playoffs.