'When you're a great player and a franchise guy, there's more on you. He's got to accept it,' Van Gundy said Tuesday after the club's practice.
'He may not like it. He may not like the way I did it. But I've also done it before many times in private --- just he and I. I didn't think it was making an impact, so now it's out there for everybody. We'll see what happens.'
Well, ideally what won't happen is to have Otis Smith get all cranky about the future of his franchise being elbowed around in public, but one would think Van Gundy spoke to his general manager before publicly chastising his superstar. Or calling him out for the number of playoff wins he has in his career (think, um, none).
Van Gundy said he's only trying to make Howard a great player, which Van Gundy believes is framed by team success. 'I think Dwight wants to be a great player. I think Dwight wants to be a winner. But we're in Year 4 and he hasn't won a playoff game,' he said.On the other hand, since the dispute purportedly involves the coach's desire to have Howard focus more on rebounding and defense (which lead to Orlando wins) it's hard to imagine Otis is terribly opposed.