Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 12/30/12
Stan Van Gundy still communicates with the player who was most responsible for him being successful with the Orlando Magic, and the same guy who was chiefly responsible for him being fired. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Van Gundy said he still exchanges friendly text messages with Dwight Howard. In the interview, Van Gundy discussed Howard’s status with the Los Angeles Lakers and shared two noteworthy opinions. The former Magic coach says Howard, who is coming off back surgery, does not look like the same player. He also says Howard is adjusting to being a secondary offensive option on the Lakers. “I don’t think he looks quite as explosive or as quick as he has in the past,” Van Gundy told the Times’ Ben Bolch. “Now, he’s still above almost everyone in the league at that size athletically, but he has not totally looked like himself to me.” Howard stopped playing for the Magic in April because of his back injury, and he underwent surgery for it later in the month. It wasn’t certain whether he would even be ready to play when the season began, but Howard was out there. Howard even admitted recently that he’s not at full strength, and said doctors told him it would take nine months to regain strength in his legs. Back injury aside, Van Gundy says Howard has a big mental adjustment he’s making. “It’s a big adjustment for him going from being the guy to not only being the No. 2 guy but really a No. 2 guy that really doesn’t get the ball very much at all,” Van Gundy said. “It’s a different deal and an adjustment he has to make. Those kind of things take time.” Van Gundy thinks Howard can and will make the adjustment, but he just pointed out that it takes time. Andrew Bynum also made similar comments recently when analyzing the Lakers. He said Howard would have to make the same adjustment. Van Gundy doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings toward Howard. “Dwight and my time in Orlando, I thought the relationship was good, worked well, produced results and that’s what player-coach relationships in this league should be about, are the results that they get and the results here were good, mainly because Dwight’s as good as he is. He’s a great, great player and I have a great appreciation for what he did for our teams and for me as a coach.” That’s a nice way to reflect on things, especially considering Howard is the big reason he lost his job in Orlando. But like he says, Howard is also the biggest reason he had success there. Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Rockets have 'serious chance' at landing Chris Paul

MotoGP qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix saw three frightening crashes Saturday

Report: Knicks attempted to move Joakim Noah with Kristaps Porzingis

Hornets GM mistakenly introduces Dwayne Bacon as Dwyane Wade

Three A's players knock first MLB homers in the same game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cuban-American businessman emerges as potential Marlins buyer

Charles Oakley: Kristaps Porzingis was ‘wrong’ to skip exit meeting

Ranking the toughest divisions in the NFL

Sixers already looking to extend Joel Embiid

WATCH: Klay Thompson fails miserably attempting a 360 dunk

Jays closer Roberto Osuna says he’s dealing with anxiety

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker