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Dwight Howard, Stan Van Gundy to help Florida public schools

September 19, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Former Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy and Lakers center Dwight Howard are working together to help Florida schools.
Former Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy and Lakers center Dwight Howard are working… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Nearly six months after it appeared their relationship would be forever strained, Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard provided tangible proof it wouldn't.

The Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi reported that the former Magic coach sought out Howard for help in raising property taxes in Seminole County, Fla., to aid public schools.

"Dwight has pledged his support," Van Gundy said. "He's a resident of Seminole County, and he's keeping his house here. I think his history will show that he's had great concern for kids in the Central Florida community. With him still living here, we asked him to help and he didn't hesitate."

It'd be understandable if Howard didn't. Van Gundy told reporters at a morning shoot-around in March that the front office indicated Howard wanted him fired. Moments later, Howard entered the media scrum placing his arm around Van Gundy as a way to deflect varying reports that sugested the same thing. Unaware that Van Gundy unleashed that bombshell, the former Magic coach then left Howard by himself to address the revelations.

The two have maintained they've kept a strong relationship ever since their respectuve departures from the Magic organization. Van Gundy has publicly faulted Orlando's front office more than Howard than his departure. Howard has mostly declined to revisit what led eventually to his getting traded to the Lakers. When that happened, Howard recently told ESPN's Ric Bucher that Van Gundy sent him a text message wishing him luck.

"To this day, Stan and I talk and we have a relationship, and I'm happy about that," Howard said. "We have a mutual respect for each other. We had five great years together. It didn't end right and it didn't end well, but we've moved on and we're happy for each other."

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Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com. Follow the Lakers blog on Twitter.

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