Another day, more rumors Howard wants Van Gundy gone

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I’ve been slow to say there is a fire, but there sure is a lot of smoke.

Now there are more and more reports surfacing that Dwight Howard wants Stan Van Gundy gone at the end of the season, and in order to keep their star happy — and encourage him to sign an extension — he will get his way.

The latest is from David Pingalore at WKMG in Orlando (via Sekou Smith’s Hang Time Blog):

Pingalore’s sources confirmed the talk has been “amping” up in recent weeks. According to the sources, the probability of Van Gundy’s staff to be released from their final year of the contract is very high. The sources confirm that if Van Gundy and his staff are fired, the Magic will use the exclamation that they “just couldn’t win in a timely fashion.”

Pingalore’s Magic sources confirm that Howard continues to convey to team owners that he wants a change in the coaching staff.

Somebody in Orlando is clearly pushing this agenda. You can decide for yourself who might do that (who would benefit?) but this is all coming pretty hard from somewhere.

Van Gundy isn’t going to quit — the man wants to get paid the money on his deal next year. But that’s not my real questions here:

Who are the Magic going to get that is going to do a better job? What’s more, what coach is going to stand up to Howard like Van Gundy has if Howard’s wishes gets a coach pushed out the door?

Van Gundy shouldn’t be worried about work — television networks would line up to get him, as would teams who may be needing a coach from New York (Knicks) to Los Angeles (Clippers). He will have options because he is one of the better coaches in the game.

The Magic are in the same place now they were heading into the trade deadline and into the lockout last year — what they really need to do is make major changes to the roster, but that will be difficult to do. Changing (and blaming) a coach is easier. It’s just not the answer.