There is no debate that Dwight Howard is the best center in the NBA, a potential MVP candidate who can be a force at both ends of the floor.
But is he a team leader?
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy may have concerns, according to a post at Real GM.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy reportedly vented his frustrations to a few of Howard’s teammates before the start of lockout. Among the list of Van Gundy’s concerns were Howard’s immaturity and how that immaturity affects his leadership.
Sources said Van Gundy feels that the Magic can be hurt at times by Howard’s perceived immaturity. The Magic don’t have another superstar player that can challenge the type of leadership his All-Star center provides…
A specific example offered was Howard’s dealings with the officials and how he’s unwilling to take responsibility for his role in the exchanges that led to a league-leading 18 technical fouls during the 10-11 season.
I hear Lakers fans now — “Kobe would change that” — but really just Derek Fisher could change that.
If it really is an issue. Howard’s leadership was enough to get the Magic to the NBA finals a few years back when Hedo Turkoglu was showing skills on the pick-and-roll and the team had better options around the big man. Has his leadership changed, or are these frustrations with team makeup finding another way to the surface?
Because Van Gundy has been nothing but complimentary to Howard in his public comments and this conversation (if it happened as described, we are taking it with some salt) we warn people not to blow it out of proportion. But there could be frustration there.