Dwight Howard Stan Van Gundy

Howard says he talked with Van Gundy “a bunch” recently


Yes, I’m sure their real tight. Probably get together for a barbeque with their families after the season. Pound a few beers and talk about the good times.

Anyway… Dwight Howard went for a walk in Beverly Hills today, and if you do that and are a celebrity you can get accosted by TMZ’s cameras. It happens.

They asked him about his relationship with Stan Van Gundy — you know, the coach Howard told management he wanted fired — his recovery from back surgery, and how he feels being in Beverly Hills while his team is back in Orlando getting ready for a key Game 4.

Orlando Magic superstar Dwight Howard tells TMZ … he’s been in constant contact with head coach Stan Van Gundy since his back surgery … saying they’ve spoken “a bunch of times” since the playoffs began….

“Sad” … Howard said … adding, “Just a little sad that I can’t be in Orlando with my teammates in the playoffs.” I went back and forth with the doctor for a couple of days … and he just said, ‘Dwight I need you to stay here, I don’t need you to go back home, I don’t need you traveling on the plane … anything.'”

“I feel like I’m in jail,” Dwight said … “I just really wish I could be there for my teammates.”

His teammates could use him. Well, the healthy him that could play at an All-Star level.

How Howard and SVG define “a bunch of times” and how in depth those conversations are may be different. But they are communicating on some level. And they will continue to do so until the Magic fire Van Gundy this summer.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.