Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy apparently doesn't have any interest in keeping things behind closed doors after admitting he knows star center Dwight Howard has asked for him to get fired (per the Magic's website). The entire Howard situation has turned into a “Dwightmare” for the franchise.
Howard spent most of the season's first half requesting a trade before changing his mind near the deadline by agreeing to stay with the Magic for another season. That didn't end the drama, however, as things are still in flux in Orlando.
Let's take a look at some of the Twitter reaction to the entire ordeal.
Howard Beck of the New York Times set social media ablaze by posting a brief exchange between Van Gundy and a reporter. It's truly amazing to see a coach be so brutally honest about a sticky situation, which could result in him losing his job.
Reporter: "Do you believe that Dwight has asked that you be fired?" Stan Van Gundy: "Yes, I know he has."— Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) April 5, 2012
It didn't take long for Howard to deny the report, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Howard doesn't want his reputation to take any further hit after the entire trade-request debacle, so it shouldn't be a surprise to see him back away from the situation:
Dwight Howard, moments after putting his arm around Stan, denies he wants him fired. Wow, crazy times in Orlando— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) April 5, 2012
Steve Popper of the Bergen Record was surprised to find a team going through more turmoil than the New York Knicks, who play the Magic tonight. It's going to be an interesting evening, to say the least:
Wow, Dwight Howard with worst denials ever. A team MORE dysfunctional than Knicks. If SVG is coaching Magic tonight that will be an upset— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) April 5, 2012
The Palm Beach Post's Ethan Skolnick makes a solid point comparing LeBron James and Howard. After this most recent turn of events, however, things are likely going to start changing in terms of crowd reaction toward him:
LeBron James still gets booed in most arenas. Dwight Howard does not. Explain.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) April 5, 2012
Bleacher Report's own Ethan Strauss takes the comparison to another level. James caught an amazing amount of heat for his decision to leave Cleveland, but Howard's actions are certainly on the same level, if not worse:
I feel like Dwight Howard actually is what people think LeBron is— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 5, 2012
Brian Windhorst of ESPN provides his theory as to why Van Gundy has been so open throughout the process. It makes a lot of sense because Howard basically controls the organization down there, and it appears to be wearing on his coach:
Like when he said he didn't care if he would be fired, Stan Van Gundy knows he'll get another & high-paying job the instant he's on market.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) April 5, 2012
Another person to side with Van Gundy was Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, who opined about the coach's current status. It's hard to disagree with him considering all Howard has put him through recently:
Magic need to let Stan Van Gundy go and name an interim coach -- assistant Patrick Ewing. Van Gundy deserves better.— Brian K. Schmitz (@MagicInsider) April 5, 2012
Scott Walker of NBC affiliate WDSU sums it up nicely. Instead of spending all that time attempting to convince Howard to stay, the Magic would have been better off taking the best offer on the table and moving on:
The Orlando Magic should have traded Dwight Howard when it had the chance. This is a circus. No one is worth this much drama.— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker6) April 5, 2012
Nobody knows what the next twist in this story will be, but everybody would likely agree it's far from over. Howard and Van Gundy aren't on the same page, and it's hurting the team.