Found April 07, 2012 on
The recent feud between Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard, which has been all over ESPN recently, is highlighting a major issue that has started to develop in all professional sports. Superstar athletes are using their own contracts as blackmail to influence coaching decisions that should be made by the front office. Many of these players’ wishes are not granted and usually the player is the one taking the walk, but is it only a matter of time before the hiring/firing of coaches has to go through a team’s superstar?
A few years ago in the NFL, Titans QB Vince Young became verbal about his coach Jeff Fisher. After being benched by Fisher, Young offered the Titans an ultimatum. Either Fisher would be fired or Young would no longer be a member of the Titans. After investing a 3rd round pick in Young, it was viewed as unlikely that they would want to part with him. However, the behavior that Vince Young demonstrated caused the Titans to release their once deemed franchise quarterback. By voicing opposition to their coaches, superstar athletes not only put themselves in a bad position, but also destroy any sense of unity in the locker room.
Athletes are paid to execute in the game. If they feel like their coaches are not putting them in a position to be successful, then that is a conversation they should have with the coach. By turning to the media, they throw their team into a frenzy and hinder any chance they had of making a championship run. Ultimately, front offices should make it very clear to their players that they are NOT in a position to influence coaching decisions. No matter how good a player might be, championships in professional sports are impossible to win without having a unified and well coached team.
I like the approach that many GM’s are taking with getting rid of the problem players. This can be challenging in the Dwight Howard situation because he is the heart and soul of the Orlando Magic. If Howard really did try to get his head coach fired, the Magic should make the decision. Is having Dwight Howard worth getting rid of a coach who has won 55+ games per year with the Magic? Either way, the magic have yet to win a championship with Dwight or Van Gundy. It is very sad that some players are able to have this amount of influence on their teams. No matter how good a player is, they should realize that they are paid for performance, not consulting.
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Stan Van Gundy believes Dwight Howard asked for him to be removed as head coach. Van Gundy came out and said this on Thursday, and it’s no surprise to me something like this happened when it did.
When The Magic’s owner came out before the trade deadline and said if Howard resigns with them he would have complete control over the coach and the general manager positions I knew...
One day after Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy disclosed All-Star center Dwight Howard wanted him fired, the two agreed it was time to move forward and focus on the team's play on the court.
''There's nothing for me to say,'' Howard said at practice Friday. ''We just have to play basketball. That's the only thing that matters.''
Orlando Magic senior vice president Pat Williams would like to see star center Dwight Howard and coach Stan Van Gundy both remain with the franchise long-term.
Williams said Monday that restoring the team's health and a deep playoff run would do a lot to help the team move forward.
Williams spoke with The Associated Press before addressing a function at Michigan State University...
As NBA observers begin to come to grips with the very strange interview session that took place Thursday morning after the Orlando Magic’s shootaround; when Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy told members of the media by members of the club’s management that All-Star center Dwight Howard has asked for him to fired at the end of the campaign; there is a two-fold question that comes...
This year has been anything but normal for the Orlando Magic. Their franchise center, Dwight Howard, caused a season-long distraction by stating his desire to be traded. Once the time came for the Magic to either trade Howard or hold onto him, he waffled on whether or not he would sign a waiver that would prevent him from opting out of his contract.
Howard ultimately decided to stay...
Days after Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy came out and said that sources came up to him and confirmed that indeed Dwight Howard went to upper management and requested that Van Gundy should be fired, Magic's general manager Otis Smith is coming out claiming that Howard never requested the firing of Van Gundy.During an interview with ESPN, Saturday night, Smith place...
Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard weren't exactly the best of friends while Shaq was still playing in the NBA. But any grudge O'Neal might have isn't tainting his outlook on the ongoing Howard-Stan Van Gundy saga. Rather than blasting Howard, who allegedly called for Van Gundy's firing, O'Neal is instead upset with the way the Magic coach has handled the...
Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard have both lost their freaking minds. How does a coach go to shootaround, a mere hours before his team is to play a game, and tell reporters that his star player wants him fired? Honestly, did he expect everyone not to go nuts and put that video clip on a loop for the next twenty-four hours? And how does a player have the ability to go to...
With all this drama surrounding Dwight Howard and his alleged desire to have his head coach Stan Van Gundy fired, people forget that Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos also put general manager Otis Smith’s fate in Howard’s hands.
And although Howard publicly washed his hands of those responsibilities in the press there is still the belief that he will have a big say so in whether...
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has been ruled out of Monday's game against the Detroit Pistons with back spasms.
Howard will miss his third contest in over two weeks with the ailment.
Coach Stan Van Gundy detailed that Howard was laboring during the fourth quarter of Saturday's win over Philadelphia.
Howard is averaging 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds this season.
Two days after telling reporters that if the Orlando Magic fired him he would still go home and have a good day, Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy in an exclusive interview with the “Orlando Sentinel” on Saturday, said he wants to return as the bench boss for Orlando next season. The veteran head coach created headlines on Thursday morning when he confirmed an earlier report that...
Stan Van Gundy is expected to travel with the Magic to Philadelphia after Friday's practice in Orlando.
Otis Smith wasn't asked by Dwight Howard to fire Stan Van Gundy.
Dwight Howard will not play on Monday against the Pistons due to back spasms and he could also miss Tuesday's game against Washington.