Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 at 9:35 am  |  40 responses

Report: Stan Van Gundy Questioned Dwight Howard’s Leadership to Teammates

The latest twist to the Dwight Howard saga in Orlando, is a report from Real GM that head coach Stan Van Gundy complained about the franchise player’s leadership and focus (or lack thereof in both departments) in front of his Magic teammates: “Magic coach Stan Van Gundy reportedly vented his frustrations to a few of Howard’s teammates before the start of lockout. Among the list of Van Gundy’s concerns were Howard’s immaturity and how that immaturity affects his leadership. Sources said Van Gundy feels that the Magic can be hurt at times by Howard’s perceived immaturity. The Magic don’t have another superstar player that can challenge the type of leadership his All-Star center provides. The result, according to sources, is Van Gundy’s voice remains more dominating than he would like. Howard’s focus was also called into question by Van Gundy, sources said. As the team’s leader, Van Gundy felt Howard’s focus wasn’t commensurate with his physical talents, falling short of where his team needs it to be. A specific example offered was Howard’s dealings with the officials and how he’s unwilling to take responsibility for his role in the exchanges that led to a league-leading 18 technical fouls during the 10-11 season. Sources were clear that Van Gundy respects Howard and genuinely likes him. Publicly, Van Gundy has been complimentary of Howard at most times. He simply wanted to get an idea of how the other players felt while venting a few of his own frustrations.”

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  • Ben


  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Clearly he picked the wrong players to speak to

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay


  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Stan better question his game plan SMH

  • jadams12

    Funny how Orlando never got rid of this guy. Dwight doesnt take him serious, and most of his players that have lost in the playoffs with him feel that he was outmatched by the likes of Doc Rivers, Phil Jackson, etc.

  • bike

    Well, he is right. Dwight is a goofball and has never impressed anyone with leadership qualities. Dwight might be better off on a team with an established leader that would tell him to knock off the stupid stuff every now and then.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    this is just not good for the Magic. And Stan should know these players can’t keep their mouths shut. Or he just shouldn’t do anything that can cut the last rope on that bridge to a championship in Orlando….which he just did, even if that rope was a thread of yarn.

  • angus

    t-mac should played out his career in orlando, theyda hada chip by now

  • Detroit Dave

    They don’t have a championship roster. Their best pure point guard was Rafer Alson. Jameer Nelson is a good player but he doens’t create easy scoring opportunities for Dwight. Arenas hasn’t given them anyting. They got a team full of jumpshooters. Nobbody that can break down a defense. Their GM makes bad personnel decisons.

  • misso

    @jadams I’m a magic fan & the reason we ain’t get rid of svg is cause there ain’t nobody better available & we beat doc rivers in the playoffs to go to the finals & about Phil Jackson, stop it nobody beats him there’s only a handful. SVG is a good coach & I like the fact that he speaks his mind & tells the truth even to D12. He just is not gonna let D12 strong arm us. If he leaves & we have to rebuild so be it, we’ve done it before & we’ll do it again

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    I miss Rafer Alston on this team. They probably could’ve done more damage had they not forced Jameer Nelson back into the rotation that year.

  • robb

    He should question how his panic affects players.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The NUPE

    The best player on the team isn’t always the team leader and leadership qualities and basketball skill shouldn’t be confused. I think there is a reason that some superstars feel a need to play with another – and it’s not always about 100% winning. I think it’s about taking some of the pressure off them to be the leader. Melo, Dwight and Bosh all seem to fall into this category IMO. On the other hand, I think a player like CP3 is trying to get to NY so that he can be the leader and take that team to the finals. True leaders are hard to find in the NBA, I’d say Kidd is among the best of all active leaders. Not the best player, but the best leader. Dwight et. al. could take some lessons from him. (All this is just my perception of course – I have no idea what really happens in the locerroom etc.)

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The straw that broke the camel’s back.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Well if that’s the case, it’s understandable.
    SVG is a pretty big f*cking straw.

  • Ed

    Well…lets say goodbye to Dwight! Just as we did with Shaquille… same as it ever was! Orlando will never get a championship team unless they can assemble a group of young players that have yet to develop…sign them to the max amount of years… in hopes that they will become what we all hope they will before their contracts are up and they decide to go to larger market! Hey Dwight… remember that promise you made to us when we picked you over Okafor??? Remember you promised us a Championship and that we would never regret drafting you??? Are you going to live up to that promise???

    If you don’t like Van Gundy just tell Martins and he will get someone else to keep you here. Personally I think we need to get rid of him anyway! I’ve always thought that he was a product of his players talent… we need a coach that can, well coach!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Matic, FTW

  • http://Slamonline.com Kap

    So what ever happened to Fran Vasquez? They wasted a good draft pick along with drafting jj reddick very high the year he came in.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    And that’s why they area about to lose Dwight.

  • LP

    my only concern with dwight is the 18 technical fouls…thats insane.

  • shutup

    and how come the same haters dont jump on this and call Dwight a kid? seriously yall some funny mofos around here. all this so called basketball knowledge and you cant see this muscle bound clown is soft like fabric softener?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I think someone is confusing immaturity and a lack of leadership with being soft. There’s nothing soft about leading the L in rebounding 5 out of your first 7 seasons in the L nor is there anything soft about being one of the only cats in the L willing to bang down low.


    @ niQ I agree Rafer Alston was sick on that team. CLUTCH even

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Co-Sign Taylor. Dwight is actually a pretty tuff dood when you get past all the laughing and smiles. If he does go to LA i’m curious how Kobe and D-How get along because Kobe is a no smiles type of guy on the court.

  • Kadavour

    Stan’s point about Dwight’s effort not being commensurate with his physical prowess is at the core of his problems. He has a big head. Leading the league in rebounding doesn’t make it OK to disrespect the rules of the game and flop your arms around like a b*tch every time you don’t get a call. That’s not leadership. A guy like Kobe would get the best out of Dwight, even though he can be a flopping b*tch too.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine nbk

    I’m with you on that Lakeshow. I am actually intrigued to see Kobe interact with either Dwight or Chris, cuz if Kobe makes a selfish play at the end of a game when Chris Paul could have created something better for Kobe then he did on his own, I’m sure Chris would let him know. And vice versa.

  • http://slamonline.com swagg

    Everybody cant be a leader. If you want a leader get a veteran player who has won before and who has lead a team before. get like a Billups type of player. I don’t leading a team as a center is an important thing. Leaders should be the ball handlers in my opinion, like the point guard or the shooting guard

  • shutup

    My fault mentally soft, the dunk contest where he let Nate jump over his head showed me all i need to know about Dwight.

  • http://slamonline.com swagg

    @nbk, that’s what training camp is for. We’ve seen stars play together during the Olympics. They will figure something out. I highly doubt if Kobe will get mad if Howard smiles during a monster performance; but if the team and Howard is playing bad and he is smiling and joking, that’s a problem. And there will not be a problem with who gets the last shot because Paul is a passing point guard. If Kobe is open, he will get the ball to him. It will actually be better than seeing Kobe lob up those long distance fade away three point buzzer beaters that rarely go in. Teams will have to guard everyone one on one if Paul has the rock and Kobe is roaming around, Paul driving and kick out to Kobe will work perfectly.

  • golakeshow


  • http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine nbk

    swagg, first of all it is not a bad problem to have. But it will be a problem. And training camp will have no effect on it. And your assuming Kobe lets Chris Paul set up a play on the last possession of every game. Which is absurd, Kobe Bryant has deferred the last possession NEVER in his career, to think he will regularly do it because Chris Paul likes to pass is the same as saying he isn’t selfish. Which is patently false. And why would Kobe get mad at Dwight for smiling after a monster game? It would be Dwight smiling after/during a terrible game that pisses him off. And training camp won’t solve that either.

  • Zabbah

    He’s right about Dwight but he’s wrong to voice it. Bye bye Dwight.

  • ClydeSays

    SVG might be right, but that doesn’t seem who D12 is. He seems like a guy who plays off of energy and emotion. I doubt he’s the guy who tells the team what to do in the locker room.
    You play to your players strengths, not their weaknesses. Stan being an emotional guy himself, should understand that…

  • Drew

    Come to the LA Lakers where your new coach won’t have the sack to tell you nothin! In fact he’ll pace around the side lines during TO and let you do all the coaching too!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^Hilarious because we all suspect it’s true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    co-sign Drew

  • D12FSU

    uh oh…

  • http://www.t-mac.com/tmac/index unf*ckwitable

    cosign JTaylor and them who said dude was tuff.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    SVG should write a tell all children’s book about it.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    I think SVG should practice what he preaches.