ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said Thursday he has been told by high-ranking team officials that star center Dwight Howard has previously asked that he be fired.
I know he has, Van Gundy told reporters after the teams morning shootaround ahead of Thursday nights matchup with the New York Knicks. Thats just the way it is. Again, Ive been dealing with that all year. Its not anything real bothersome. You go out and do your job.
Howard has denied reports that he has asked for Van Gundys dismissal. He again denied it Thursday.
Whatever happens at the end of the season is not under my control, Howard told reporters. I am a player for the Magic. I am not the GM. I am not (owner) Rich DeVos. I am not (Magic CEO) Alex Martins. So thats not my job. So you guys should stop ... every other week ... trying to find something, because theres nothing.
I havent said anything to anybody about anything. Our main concern is winning. So all the other stuff should stop.
The controversy did not help the Magic on Thursday. Orlando lost 96-80 to the New York Knicks.
Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points, and Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Knicks.
Howard scored eight points and had eight rebounds for the Magic.
PISTONS 99, WIZARDS 94: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Greg Monroe had 18 points and seven rebounds, Rodney Stuckey scored 15 points in his return from injury, and Ben Wallace made five key free throws down the stretch for Detroit.
BULLS INJURY: Derrick Rose missed Chicagos home game against Boston because of a strained groin, the 12th consecutive contest hes missed because of the injury.