Van Gundy feels Howard wants him out

Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy reacts to a call by an official during the second half of Game 1...

Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy reacts to a call by an official during the second half of Game 1 against the Charlotte Bobcats in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, April 18, 2010. (AP/Reinhold Matay)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 4:22 PM ET

Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said Thursday that star center Dwight Howard wants him fired.

“I know he has,” Van Gundy told reporters, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “That’s just the way it is. Again, I’ve been dealing with that all year. It’s not anything real bothersome. You go out and do your job.”

Van Gundy said he has heard from management that “it was true.”

For his part, Howard has denied that he had asked for the team to fire Van Gundy.

“I haven’t said nothing to anybody,” Howard told ESPN.com Chris Broussard in a text message. “My main focus is that me and Stan and the team are on the same page for the playoffs. Whatever happens at the end of the season is up to the management.”

ESPN.com reported before the trade deadline that the team’s front office had allowed Howard to determine what happens with general manager Otis Smith and Van Gundy after the season if he agreed not to opt out of his contract.


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