Dwight Howard has been ruled out for the rest of this season, undergoing back surgery that is also expected to remove him from consideration for the Team USA Olympic roster this summer. But just because we've received some closure on D12's on-court status doesn't mean the rumors and speculation about his long-term future will come to an end. Here's the latest on the Magic superstar:
- SI.com's Chris Mannix is one of many reporters shooting down rumors that Howard called Magic owner Rich DeVos to tell him he won't play for coach Stan Van Gundy anymore. Of course, as Mannix points out, that doesn't mean Howard is interested in playing for SVG going forward.
- A league source tells Mannix that Howard believes Van Gundy lied when he told reporters D12 had asked the Magic to fire him, since the Orlando center didn't specifically make that request. Sources close to Howard tell Mannix that it was the Magic front office that first approached Dwight about the possibility of replacing Van Gundy.
- Management's silence on the topic may not sit well with Howard, writes Mannix, noting that perhaps a deteriorating relationship between the team and its star will lead to renewed trade rumors this summer.
- According to Van Gundy, Howard is scheduled for surgery today in the Los Angeles area, tweets Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel.