After reporting earlier this week that Dwight Howard no longer wants to play for coach Stan Van Gundy and may sit out the playoffs as a result, David Pingalore of WKMG 6 in Orlando now says Howard called Magic owner Rich DeVos to say he wouldn't play for Van Gundy anymore.
Pingalore was the first to report that Howard had asked the Magic to fire Van Gundy, and his story earlier this week wasn't initially disputed. However, a number of outlets are refuting his latest report. ESPN.com's Michael Wallace hears from multiple sources that Howard didn't make such a statement to DeVos, with one of D12's representative calling it a "completely made-up, BS story."
Sam Amick of SI.com also hears from sources "close to the situation" that Pingalore's report is inaccurate, while the Orlando Sentinel reported that "Howard’s camp is adamant that the All-NBA center wants to return for the postseason."
I believe Howard's herniated disc is a serious enough health issue that it could prevent him from playing in the postseason, no matter how badly he wants to return. If he sits out in the playoffs, I don't necessarily think it'll have anything to do with Van Gundy. But even if there's no truth to the latest rumblings of discord between the Magic coach and superstar, it's very hard to imagine the pair coexisting in Orlando past this season.