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Dwight Howard reportedly wants Stan Van Gundy fired after season

Dwight Howard wants Magic coach Stan Van Gundy fired after the season, WKMG in Orlando reports. Howard reportedly was given the power to determine the fate of coach Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith by Magic ownership, though the owners denied that report.

WKMG says the Magic are likely to fire Van Gundy and his entire coaching staff in hopes of getting Howard to agree to a contract extension with the team. Perhaps this was the agreement to which Jeff Van Gundy was referring when he said Howard and the front office have a deal.

Of course the Magic may not have a chance to fire Stan Van Gundy because he may choose to resign.

The entire situation is pretty sad if it’s true, and I believe it is. Stan Van Gundy is a good coach and will find a job elsewhere. The team struggling is more the result of the roster declining after their title run in 2009, and other teams in the conference improving. If anyone deserves to be fired it’s Otis Smith, who failed to improve the team’s roster.

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Magic reportedly out partying in NYC night before blowout loss to the Knicks

Now that the Dwight Howard drama has ended for the time being, one might think the Magic would be able to focus for the remainder of the season. With a record of 32-19, Orlando is in good shape to grab a high seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the playoffs. That is, if they can avoid the temptation of partying.

According to the NY Post, several of the Magic players were seen raging into the wee hours of the morning in New York on Tuesday night — the night before they suffered a 108-86 blowout loss to the Knicks.

The previous night, sources spotted the Magic’s Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Jason Richardson partying until the early hours. They started out dining in the private wine room of Philippe New York. Then the pair joined Dwight Howard — who got a shout-out from the DJ on the loudspeaker, spies said — Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson at Greenhouse during R&B singer Dawn Richard’s EP release party. The players were seen ordering bottles of Champagne and raged in the club until around 3 a.m.

That might help explain why the Magic were lost throughout the entire game and reportedly looked like a mess during pregame warmups. Howard managed just 12 points and five rebounds, which were his lowest totals for the month of March by far. You drink the booze, you lose. Apparently that’s more than just a figure of speech.

Photo credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Dwight Howard reportedly offered power to decide fate of Magic coach, GM

The Orlando Magic are desperately trying to keep Dwight Howard who is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent after the season. Dwight already gave the team a list of organizations to whom he’d like to be traded, but they seem committed to keeping him. They’re talking about adding players and doing anything to convince him to sign a contact extension with the team. They are so desperate to please him, they reportedly are giving him the opportunity to determine head coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith’s fates after the season.

Sound familiar?

Of course it does. The Cavaliers offered similar power to LeBron James before he left them for the Heat. Orlando denies the charges, saying the owners will decide the employment status of the GM and head coach. Their denial is not surprising; they can’t let the public or current employees know Dwight Howard controls them. Regardless, this is a bad precedent.

Though Dwight Howard is a superstar and more valuable to the organization than either the coach or GM, he also needs to be put in check sometimes. He needs to be told if he’s making mistakes and called out when his behavior is hurting the team. Giving him the ability to decide the future of the coaches and GM gives him more power and probably would make him feel like he doesn’t need to listen to anyone. Shoot, if I were told I were that valuable, I probably would get a huge head, too.

Super Bowl Left No Hotel Rooms for Magic, Messed Up Their Travel Plans to Indy

This is just a hunch, but I’m guessing the biggest event in Indianapolis this weekend will be the Super Bowl. Unfortunately for basketball fans, the Pacers and Magic will have to take a back seat this time around. In fact, there are not even any hotel rooms remaining for the Magic to stay in on Friday night before their game against the Pacers Saturday.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the Magic will have to fly to Cincinnati on Friday night after their home game against the Cavs. They will stay in Cincinnati that night, and fly to Indy to face the Pacers the day of the game on Saturday. You didn’t expect Stan Van Gundy to be pleased about that, did you?

“I don’t even need to comment on it,” an annoyed Van Gundy said. “You guys can comment on it and save me my money. When you come out with the schedule in December and have a game in the Super Bowl city, lodging might be a problem.”

In the NBA’s defense, the condensed schedule from the lockout made things a bit more complicated. Still, Van Gundy is right. Somebody should have thought of that right away and known it was going to be an issue. Things are going poorly enough for the Magic at the moment. They don’t need any added distractions or complications.

“I guess we’ll try to walk through in the hotel,” Van Gundy said. “It’ll be a different situation than what we’re normally used to. Normally if people are going to play us, they don’t fly into Tampa. That’s the way it goes.”

That is, indeed, the way it goes. It may not be fair, but no sporting event in America is more important than the Super Bowl. As much as I hate the phrase, this is the epitome of a “life’s not fair” scenario.

Chest bump to I Am a GM for the story

Dwight Howard Calls Out Magic Teammates, but Do They Respect Him?

Dwight Howard called out his Magic teammates after the squad got hammered by the Hornets 93-67 Friday. The blowout loss came to a team on a nine-game losing streak, and a day after Orlando blew a 27-point lead to the Celtics. Dwight questioned his teammates’ efforts.

“I look at guys and they don’t look like they want to play,” Howard said. “I told them at halftime, ‘If you don’t want to play, just stay in the locker room, because it don’t make sense for a team who we should beat to just demolish us.’

“It hurts to get out there and you play your hardest and you expect everybody to play the same way, and I’m not calling anybody out by no means because we all have to get better … But if you don’t want to be out there, don’t dress up,” Howard said. “If you don’t want to play, stay home. People work too hard. I want to win a championship. I work too hard every night for anybody to not want to go out there and play hard.”

Howard may sound like he’s demonstrating strong leadership skills by standing up this way, but he should understand something. Why would his teammates be following him knowing that he’s going to be leaving the team soon? It’s hard to listen to someone who’s not committed to the team, which Howard isn’t. Orlando should have traded for Chris Paul to make this season their last run at a championship before disbanding. Now they’re stuck with a mess.

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Magic Survey: Would You Renew Your Season Tickets if Dwight Howard Leaves?

If Magic fans respond to this survey the way they are supposed to, the Orlando Magic could be the dumbest organization in basketball.  If the fans give a response that would help push Dwight Howard out the door, they could be the dumbest fanbase in America.  In a recent survey that the Magic gave out to season-ticket holders, one of the questions they asked was whether or not people would renew their seats if Dwight Howard was not on the team. Don’t believe us? Check out this picture that Darren Rovell shared:

Darren Rovell's photo Magic season ticket holder survey asks: If Dwight Howard leaves, will you renew? (via @ebayticketshop)

For those of you who can’t read that, the statement says, “If Dwight Howard leaves the Magic, I will not renew my season tickets.” Fans are asked to check off a bubble indicating how much they agree or disagree with the statement.  Wow.

Who in their right mind would indicate that they “disagree” with that and basically give the team permission to not keep Howard?  These are the same fans who bought out billboard space to try to entice the team to trade for Chris Paul, so I doubt they’re going to say “no problem” to the thought of losing their best player.  Dumbest survey question in the history of professional sports? It just may be.

Thanks to I Am a GM for pointing out the hilarity.

Magic Fan Marshall Coleman Drugged Out from Dental Surgery Really Wants Dwight Howard to Stay (Video)

Whether he plays one more season in Orlando or not, chances are Dwight Howard will not be in a Magic uniform to start the 2012-2013 season.  A handful of teams are interested in trading for the Magic center before the season begins and even more would be interested in signing him as a free agent next offseason.  The relationship between Howard and the Orlando front office seems to be strained, and the more likely scenario is that he ends up with a team like the Nets.  That is terrible news for Magic fan Marshall Coleman, who really wants Dwight to stay. Check out this video that Ball Don’t Lie shared with us:

On the bright side, there are far more embarrassing things you can be videotaped doing after having your wisdom teeth removed.  Coleman wants one of the best players in the league to re-sign with his team.  Who wouldn’t?  There’s no better time to get people to listen than when you’re freaking out on anesthesia.

Video credit: Marshall Coleman’s brother’s Twitter.