You might remember David Pingalore, the Orlando sportscaster whom Dwight Howard pinned as inaccurate after he correctly revealed that Howard wanted Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy fired. You might also recall that when Van Gundy confirmed Pingalore's report (and the suspicions of many), Howard was hurt and taken aback by his coach's candidness. Now, in an oddly written column, Pingalore is adding new intrigue to the ongoing saga. Not only is Howard still upset with Van Gundy, while sitting games out due to a herniated disc, but he might also miss the playoffs? Seriously? Here's the take:
Pingalore's sources confirmed that Howard was adamant about joining the team in Cleveland but the Magic asked him to return to Orlando. Howard would eventually travel to Cleveland. However, Howard sat in the hotel for the game Sunday evening and rejoined the team as they traveled back to Orlando. "It was strange since that Howard wanted to go to Cleveland and offer support but never made it to the game," said one of Pingalore's sources.
Howard would also likely sit out the postseason, according to the source.
OK. We understand if it's hard to catch up, here, because that piece is loosely strung together.
Howard had his back checked out by a specialist in Los Angeles over the weekend, and seemingly wanted to join his mates in Cleveland as they played (and defeated) the Cavaliers on Sunday. Apparently Pingalore's source finds it odd that Howard would go out of his way to defy the Magic's wishes for him to go back to Florida, fly all the way to Cleveland for the game, yet watch the action from his hotel room.
Also, the television station is reporting that "Dwight Howard does not want to play for head coach Stan Van Gundy any longer." An important nugget, considering that the Magic have five games left in this regular season, and a postseason to attempt to work through. And that both Van Gundy and Howard are under contract for this season and the next.
Orlando Magic Basketball. We Bring the Welp.
This really isn't news, though it is interesting to see such proclamations in print. Of course Dwight Howard doesn't like Stan Van Gundy. Of course he wanted him fired, ages ago, and of course Van Gundy has known about it for ages. And of course, Howard probably has enough going on in his back to warrant sitting out the season's final two weeks, and even the postseason.
And, of course, Dwight Howard does not want to play for head coach Stan Van Gundy any longer.
The difference with the Magic, in comparison to the 29 other soap operas that are currently running in the NBA, is that these things are either going on record (in the form of Van Gundy's bizarre shootaround press conference from earlier this month), or that a TV station is allowing just one "source" to muse about the state of the Magic, and Howard's fulminations.
It's so typical of this team that this has almost been buried. One of the NBA's top players, a franchise-changing center, might be out for the playoffs, and we're ho-humming it.
This is the environment the Magic have created. By trying to have it several ways with the trying-to-have-it-both-ways Howard, they've made it so none of this reporting makes much of a dent. And for a team that could actually find its way through Miami or Chicago in the playoffs, that's pretty unfortunate.
And sadly typical.