While many media members buddy up with Dwight Howard because of his outgoing personality, Jeff Van Gundy is not falling for the act. Van Gundy believes that Howard got his brother, former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, fired in Orlando, and he’s not afraid to call out Howard when he feels it is necessary.
During the second quarter of Friday’s Oklahoma City Thunder-Los Angeles Lakers game, Van Gundy called out Howard on several accounts. His criticism was inspired by a possession in which the Lakers’ reserves shared the ball on an offensive possession, which is different from the way the starters operate.
“Did you see how the ball moved?” Van Gundy asked rhetorically. “There was no agenda. There was no pouting if they didn’t touch it. The ball just moved freely. And when the ball moves freely, everyone feels good.
“And let’s face it, let’s not beat around the bush: Some of Dwight Howard’s comments about having to play together? Those are veiled shots at Kobe Bryant,” said Van Gundy. “And to me, I would have much rather seen Howard go into the locker room and say, ‘Hey, listen, I think we need to do this, this, and this.’
“You don’t go in the media and take veiled shots at Kobe Bryant! I guarantee he thought the grass was greener other than Orlando. Now he’s disenchanted with his offensive role [on the Lakers] it seems. When’s the guy going to be happy?”
The “veiled shots” to which Van Gundy is referring came after the Lakers lost to the Clippers earlier this month.