Stan Van Gundy Confirms That Dwight Howard Asked for His Ouster

Ethan Sherwood Strauss@SherwoodStraussNBA Lead WriterApril 5, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 13:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic speaks to the media following the game against the Miami Heat at Amway Center on March 13, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, Stan Van Gundy has confirmed an anonymously-sourced report that Dwight Howard asked for him to be fired.

Apparently, Howard denied the reports moments after the Van Gundy confirmation.

The easy pose is to declare that Orlando should part ways with Howard and roll with Van Gundy, a figure who gets along well with media members and who actually comports himself with public professionalism.

However, I am actually not sure what the Magic should do. Though Dwight Howard is wrong for doing this, he's also exceptionally good at playing basketball. There are fewer franchise centers than decent coaches out there. If Orlando is quite certain that firing Van Gundy would keep Howard with the team on a long-term basis, it well could be the correct, logical play.

This is where it gets difficult for me to write about Dwight Howard. I never want this space to devolve into lame stereotypes about "spoiled" NBA players. I try to work against that unfair inclination to assume I know the whole person from afar.

That being said, Howard does indeed seem spoiled and destructive. I was shocked by the trade deadline press conference in which he spoke of how Orlando placated him with "foods and candies." Howard seemed wholly oblivious to the picture he was painting, which is bizarre because he's been in the spotlight for so long.

What should the Magic do? I can't call it. However, I can say that Dwight Howard actually appears to be what people assume LeBron James is, and possibly even more so.