Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse with regards to the ongoing saga between the Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard, it does.
After “The Indecision,” it seemed like the Magic were scot-free. With Dwight waiving the early termination option in his contract at the trade deadline, it seemed like Orlando got what they wanted. More time to build an elite team and championship contender around Dwight in the hopes of convincing him to finally commit long-term to the organization.
In the famous words of Lee Corso, “not so fast my friend.”
When head coach Stan Van Gundy pulled the sheets away to reveal Dwight’s power move on Wednesday (pushing for Van Gundy’s ouster since the offseason), the Magic have been exposed to being in the middle of a “Dwightmare.”
And just when you thought the horror movie was over and there was a resolution to the story, the killer keeps coming back for more. This time, the target isn’t the franchise but Van Gundy.
Magic Basketball examines the road ahead for Orlando.
Fact or Fiction: The Magic should keep Van Gundy and trade Dwight.
Nate Drexler: Fact. It’s sad, but true. I loved Dwight. We all loved Dwight. But even my mother saw the way he acted. Hijacking an interview clearly with the motive of shutting Stan up, pretending he is aloof, refusing to comment? These are the signs of a confused player. You have to get rid of someone. My vote is the loose canon.
Danny Nowell: Fiction. I have a hard time with this, because I think Stan is more valuable than Dwight if they’re BOTH in Orlando. But facts are facts: Dwight Howard is the league’s best center and the Magic will be a high playoff seed any year he suits up. With or without Van Gundy.
Matt Scribbins: Fiction. How often does a team trade a superstar in their prime and end up on the right side of the deal? I think it is as simple as that. Van Gundy and Howard can move past their issues and make Orlando a legitimate contender again. Time is still on the Magic’s side.
Fact or Fiction: The Magic should fire Van Gundy and keep Dwight.
Drexler: Fiction. Trick question. I see what you did there. Dwight is bigger than life. What he provides on the court is otherworldly. But right now you have a problem and it doesn’t appear that “Mr. Uncertain-about-life” has the answers. I tend to side with the guy who sees all the angles.
Nowell: Fact. Stan is one of the league’s best coaches, one of my personal favorites, and a godsend for the Magic. It seems like this relationship is irreparably broken though and if Dwight isn’t gonna be Dwight for Van Gundy, the Magic ought to just make this a clean break.
Scribbins: Fiction. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but I don’t think it is the best option. Superstars and coaches have feuded before and gone on to great success after they reconciled. The duo of Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson is the most recent example, winning two titles after their initial breakup.
Fact or Fiction: The Magic should blow it up and start over.
Drexler: Fiction. With who? Another genius coach and some other phenom center that gives you 20 and 15 every night? Blow it up if you have to, but I’m for making amends and keeping both a coach who many Magic players want to play for and a superstar who demands respect. Ideology can be a pain sometimes.
Nowell: Fiction. Dwight is the league’s best center; Van Gundy is one of its best coaches. If you have Dwight, you probably lose Stan; if you lose Dwight, you definitely want Stan. If getting rid of Van Gundy keeps Dwight around, there’s no need to blow it up. If they fire Stan and Dwight leaves anyway? Yikes.
Scribbins: Fiction. They are reasonably close to being a contender right now. They obviously need to make a few tweaks, but the moves aren’t unrealistic. If they blow it up, the climb to the top of the mountain is a whole lot longer. It may take years before the Magic reach the summit again.