Howard says relationship with Van Gundy “needs to grow”

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Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy sat down and talked for over an hour not long after training camps opened, and you can bet the topic was not the best way to brine a turkey before cooking it on Christmas.

Their relationship is going to impact the Magic on the court and ultimately if Howard is wearing a Magic jersey next season or not. (While most of the world sees Howard moving on, in Orlando they think they still have a shot at keeping him.)

Howard wants Van Gundy to be less negative and wants the freedom to police guys more himself, the center told the Orlando Sentinel.

“We both have our ways that we lead the team, and they follow. The main thing is that people have to see that me and Stan are on the same page and we’re not bumping heads. Then everything else will fall in line….

“One thing I told Stan is that our relationship, we have to have a great relationship,” Howard said. “Our relationship has to grow in order for this team to go to where we want to get to.”

If (really, when) Howard leaves the Magic it is not on Stan Van Gundy. We know Van Gundy can coach teams to contender status, the reason the Magic are not contenders is the roster assembled. That’s on the front office. But the relationship with Van Gundy would be a part of the decision.