HoopsHype Rich DeVos rumors

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April 20, 2012 Updates

There goes Dwight Howard, gone for the season, gone for the playoffs, maybe gone from Orlando forever. Back surgery took care of the first two, a procedure to repair a painful herniated disk in his lower back that will likely sideline him for the next four months, while a freshly scorched relationship with the team could take care of the third. Sources close to Howard insist he never made the reported phone call to Magic owner Rich DeVos during last Friday's loss to Atlanta declaring his intention to never play for Stan Van Gundy again, though it doesn't change the fact that he has no interest in continuing to do it. SI.com

Howard believes Van Gundy lied when he told reporters he knew Howard asked for his dismissal because, a league source familiar with the situation said, he never specifically did. There is no love lost between Howard and Van Gundy but sources close to the All-Star center said it was Orlando's front office that first approached him about canning Van Gundy in December, before the Magic's season deteriorated. SI.com

April 19, 2012 Updates

WKMG-TV in Orlando reported that Howard called DeVos last Friday night during the Atlanta Hawks-Magic home game at Amway Center and told DeVos his stance on Van Gundy. However, the person close to Howard said the report is completely made up and that Howard was getting an epidural Friday in Los Angeles during the Hawks game. Another person close to the situation told USA TODAY Sports he was not aware of a phone call from Howard to Devos. USA Today

The Sentinel reported Wednesday that “Howard’s camp is adamant that the All-NBA center wants to return for the postseason.” Pingalore reported several weeks ago that Howard has gone to management in an attempt to get the coach fired. Van Gundy confirmed that was the case, causing a local and national firestorm. Pingalore, in his most recent report, wrote that Howard is upset that Van Gundy said publicly he wanted him fired. Orlando Sentinel

Magic center Dwight Howard has called team owner Rich DeVos to tell him that he won't play for coach Stan Van Gundy anymore, WKMG in Orlando reported. But multiple league sources directly affiliated with the Magic and Howard disputed the television report to ESPN.com's Michael Wallace. "It's a completely made-up, B.S. story," one of Howard's representatives told ESPN.com. Howard missed his sixth straight game with a back injury Wednesday against the Celtics, and Van Gundy already has said that he is preparing for his big man to miss the rest of the season and the playoffs. Howard is still upset that Van Gundy publicly said this month that Howard asked management to have him fired, sources told WKMG. ESPN.com

Two sources told ESPN.com, though, that Howard did not reach out to DeVos in such a fashion. Howard's relationship with Van Gundy has been strained for months. Sources indicate that Howard will be re-evaluated next week by team doctors to determine his playoff availability. Howard's recovery from the injury, more so than any difficulties with Van Gundy, will factor into whether Howard is able to return to the court this season, sources told ESPN. ESPN.com

April 5, 2012 Updates

“Whatever happens at the end of the season is not under my control. I am a player for the Magic,” he said. “I am not the GM. I am not [team owner] Rich DeVos. I am not [CEO] Alex Martins. So that’s not my job. So you guys should stop with every other week it’s trying to find something, because there’s nothing. There’s nothing. I haven’t said anything to anybody about anything. Our main concern is winning. So all the other stuff should stop.” Whatever, Van Gundy, by coming forward Thursday, made it impossible to believe there is “nothing.” He made it clear that if he were to be fired at some point that Howard had something to do with it. Orlando Sentinel

March 17, 2012 Updates
March 15, 2012 Updates

Magic executives, including CEO Alex Martins, GM Otis Smith and owner Rich DeVos, were expecting Howard to lead off the conversation Wednesday night -- hours after Howard had informed a high-ranking team official that he wanted to sign the ETO waiver, commit to Orlando and not be traded. But when the Magic officials got on the call, the first voice they heard was Fegan's, according to a person who was briefed on the call. Fegan spoke for about 10 minutes, the person said, informing team officials that Howard was not willing to relinquish his ability to become a free agent after the season. When it was Howard's turn, all he could muster was a plea for DeVos and the Magic brass to "trust" that things would work out. "Then you're watching the game," a person familiar with the chronology of events said, "and you're thinking, 'Oh my God, this is his last game.' " CBSSports.com

March 14, 2012 Updates
March 13, 2012 Updates
February 8, 2012 Updates

As Dwight Howard sat at his locker perhaps 10 yards away, DeVos acknowledged that he is trying to convince the superstar center to remain with the team for years to come. "We love him, and he respects us, so we talk," DeVos said. Orlando Sentinel

DeVos also dispelled the notion that — if the team's front office determines it must trade Howard — he would veto a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers because the Lakers signed Shaquille O'Neal to a free-agent deal years ago. "I don't have any emotion on that," DeVos said. "I never talked about where he would go because I don't want him to go. I don't discuss where he might go." Orlando Sentinel

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