Sources: Dwight Howard tells Magic owner he won't play for Van Gundy

By David Pingalore, Sports, dpingalore@clickorlando.com
Published On: Apr 16 2012 10:45:01 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 19 2012 10:30:29 AM EDT

New details have emerged from Local 6 Sports Director David Pingalore's Monday report that Orlando Magic superstar Dwight Howard no longer wants to play for head coach Stan Van Gundy.

ORLANDO, Fla. -

New details have emerged from Local 6 Sports Director David Pingalore's Monday report that Orlando Magic superstar Dwight Howard no longer wants to play for head coach Stan Van Gundy.

Pingalore has learned Wednesday from multiple NBA and team sources that Howard called Magic Owner Rich DeVos Friday night, telling the 86-year-old that he will no longer play for head coach Stan Van Gundy.

Pingalore was told through sources that have direct knowledge of the call that it was taken in the DeVos suite at Amway Center by DeVos sometime during the Magic's game with the Atlanta Hawks.

According to the sources, Howard is still upset with Van Gundy, confirming Pingalore's report from earlier this month that Howard went to Magic management asking for Van Gundy to be fired.

Sources confirm the call to DeVos came after Howard visited Los Angeles to get diagnosed for his sore back.

Dr. Robert Watkins, of Marina Del Rey, Calif., diagnosed Howard with a herniated disk.

Last month Pingalore talked to DeVos about Dwight Howard's future.

"If we can't put together a good team for him he's got too much power not to have a good team around him," he said.

Pingalore asked DeVos about Howard having too much power in his mind.

"Dwight had what he wanted or what he thinks should happen and he shared that with us," DeVos said. "We didn't always listen as good as we should of listened. We are listening now."

As Pingalore originally reported Monday, Howard would also likely sit out the postseason, according to the sources.
The NBA sources believe not playing for Van Gundy is more at issue than anything else and the circus-like atmosphere is being orchestrated by Howard. The sources confirm it all started with Howard's trade demands prior to the season and that Howard was offered too much control.

"We have to listen to him, he is a power force, we have to pay attention," DeVos also said last month.

According to The Sporting News, Van Gundy was asked about preparing for the final week of season without Howard on the team after Wednesday night's game.

"I would be surprised," Van Gundy said, adding "very surprised.  What we're saying right now, what our approach is, that this is our team, not only in the regular season but in the playoffs.  If we get him back, it is a huge bonus, but we're not expecting it at this point."

Howard did not make the trip to Boston as he is rehabbing in Orlando.

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