Dwight Howard does not want to set foot on the court again this season for the Orlando Magic if Stan Van Gundy remains the team’s head coach, WKMG-TV reported.
NBA and Magic sources told the station Howard is still upset about Van Gundy telling reporters he went to the team’s front office asking for the 52-year-old coach to be given the boot.
Howard, who is already out indefinitely because of a herniated disk in his lower back, reportedly traveled to Los Angeles for treatment Friday, but when he asked to rejoin his teammates in Cleveland on Sunday, the team reportedly insisted he go back to Orlando.
The All-Star center did make it to Cleveland but watched Orlando’s game from a hotel room instead of joining his teammates and Van Gundy on the bench, insiders say.
“It was strange since Howard wanted to go to Cleveland and offer support but never made it to the game,” one source told WKMG.
Howard’s camp, however, maintains he wants to recover from his injury in time to make it back for the postseason, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The Magic, 36-25 with five games remaining, already clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Van Gundy revealed earlier this month he was informed that Howard had asked management to fire him, sparking speculation he would not be back at the helm next season.