Van Gundy wants to return to Magic

Stan Van Gundy said Saturday he wanted to return as Orlando Magic coach next season despite the recent turmoil concerning All-Star center Dwight Howard.

Van Gundy revealed Thursday he was informed that Howard had asked management to fire him, sparking speculation he would not want to be back at the helm in 2012-13.

But on Saturday, Van Gundy told the Orlando Sentinel that he did not "have a scenario in my head where I wouldn’t" want to return with the team.

"[Team management is] going to have to make decisions. But I’m a basketball coach and I know this: I don’t want to go anywhere else. I mean, I love Orlando, and this is where I want to be. And I want to coach," he said.

Magic general manager Otis Smith spoke out about the issue Saturday night, saying Howard had not asked him to fire Van Gundy.

"He never asked me. I didn’t have that knowledge," Smith told ESPN, adding that both Van Gundy and Howard were to blame for the public dispute.

"If [Howard] did ask he’s wrong, and for Stan to address it in public, that is wrong," he said.

Smith confirmed Van Gundy would remain as coach for the rest of the current campaign, but did not have any answers regarding either the coach or Howard’s positions with the team next season.

"Don’t have the answer for that," Smith said, when asked if Van Gundy would return to the team next season. "I don’t have the answer to who’s going to be on our roster, either."

Howard, who has denied making a request for Van Gundy to be fired, starred with 20 points and 22 rebounds as Orlando beat the 76ers 88-82 in Philadelphia Saturday night.

After the game, he said he would not let the situation "break" him.

"I’m not a bad guy," Howard said. "Regardless of whatever’s being said or how people want to portray me, I’m still going to be who I am. I’m the same person.

"I’ve never been a bad guy my whole life. But it happens. Everybody goes through trials and tribulations or whatever. This is what makes you."