Orlando Magic CEO Tony Martin went out of his way in a press conference on Monday to say that Dwight Howard had nothing to do with the team's decision to part ways with head coach Stan Van Gundy.
"Let me say in no uncertain terms that Dwight did not want to be part of this decision," Martins said at a televised press conference announcing the firings. "He did not want to make this decision. He never asked me to make this decision. Yes, (the Howard/Van Gundy) relationship was a challenge, but Dwight Howard never asked me to fire Stan Van Gundy."
Howard might not have been actually behind the firing but you can bet that he will play a big part in who is brought in to replace Van Gundy. Going forward every move that the team makes will be made with the intent of convincing Howard to sign an extension with the club. The rumor mill has already kicked in with names such as Donnie Walsh as GM and Mike D'Antoni as head coach being mentioned.
The coaching job for the Magic will be quite an attractive opening provided that Howard stays with the team. If he decides to bolt then it could become one big and ugly rebuilding project overnight.
For more on Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic check out SB Nation Tampa Bay and Orlando Pinstriped Post.