Dwight Howard on Stan Van Gundy: ‘Relationship Has to Grow’

by December 23, 2011

As if the Orlando Magic didn’t have enough problems this season with the Dwight Howard trade situation, now they gotta deal with the continuing tension between the superstar center and head coach Stan Van Gundy. Reports the Orlando Sentinel: “Howard and Van Gundy spoke for over an hour last week, and while the full details of that conversation remain unclear, they hope the talk will help change how they interact during games. Howard and co-captain Jameer Nelson want more freedom to police teammates during games, and Howard also wants Van Gundy to be less negative. Van Gundy insists he would ‘love’ that. ‘Our job is to lead the guys on the court,’ Howard said Thursday, referring to himself and Nelson. ‘We both have our ways that we lead the team, and they follow. The main thing is that people have to see that me and Stan are on the same page and we’re not bumping heads. Then everything else will fall in line.’ […] ‘I’ve got to set the standards, and I’ve got to make sure that they’re adhered to in terms of guys playing hard and playing together and doing what we’re supposed to do,’ Van Gundy said. ‘If our players can take most of the leadership in that regard and police each other in terms of effort and things like that, that’s all the better. I would love that. I think that’s an ideal situation. And then when I see things I don’t like, I’ve got to step in.’ […] Howard often has said he likes Van Gundy as a person, but he has contended that Van Gundy’s coaching style can have an adverse effect. ‘One thing I told Stan is that our relationship, we have to have a great relationship,’ Howard said. ‘Our relationship has to grow in order for this team to go to where we want to get to.'”