Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard called the team's owner to tell him he could no longer play for coach Stan Van Gundy during the middle of a Magic game, according to a report.
WKMG-TV, an Orlando-based television station, is reporting that Howard called Magic owner Rich DeVos last Friday night to tell him that he could no longer play for Van Gundy. Howard reportedly made the phone call while in Los Angeles getting his sore back checked out. Howard is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a bad back.
This latest news confirms early reports that Howard was trying to force Van Gundy out. WKMG's David Pingalore was the first one to report that Howard wanted Van Gundy out, which the coach surprisingly confirmed at a news conference.
I was told by people in our management. Right from the top, Van Gundy said on April 5th about how he knew Howard wanted him out.
In a bizarre scene straight out of a movie, Howard then walked over to give Van Gundy a hug and denied that he was trying to get his coach fired.
Howard has denied those rumors all season, but those behind the scenes have insisted that he is unwilling to play for Van Gundy next season. One popular rumor is that Howard decided to opt-in for the 2012-13 season with the Magic with the promise that Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith will be fired in the off-season.