“Coaches and players have been doing this for years, you just happened to see this play out in the public,” Smith said. “To the organization’s credit, Stan Van Gundy is still our coach and Dwight Howard is still our player and we’re still trying to win basketball games.”
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What else can Otis Smith say?
In order to salvage the Orlando Magic’s season, Smith must downplay the rift between coach Stan Van Gundy and superstar Dwight Howard.
It may be too little, too late.
Clearly, Howard has owner Rich Devos’ ear. And if the club wants to sign Howard to an extension then Smith and Van Gundy may get pink-slipped.
For most, such a dynamic would be difficult, but Van Gundy is used to getting knifed in the back. Remember, Pat Riley crossed him with the Miami Heat, coming out of the executive suite to ‘take over’ for Van Gundy.
So expect the Magic to keep chugging along. But beating LeBron James’ Heat and Derrick Rose’s Bulls will be tough, if not impossible, with such a cloud hanging over the organization.
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