Dwight Howard

In the war of words between Dwight Howard and his former Orlando Magic teammates, one significant voice weighed in on the side of the Los Angeles Lakers center.

Howard said that his former Magic coach, Stan Van Gundy, reached out to him Thursday to offer support.

“He knows I would never disrespect my teammates,” said Howard after Lakers’ shootaround Friday in advance of their game against the Toronto Raptors. “He understood exactly what I was saying and that’s what he expressed.”

Howard expanded on the topic after the Lakers’ 118-116 overtime victory over the Raptors, saying, “Both of us, we know how great we were together. I’ve always told him, if we had a second run together, that would be great.

“I would always tell him what my goal was, I want to be one of the greatest to play and he would always push me to get there. So, I respect him.”

Van Gundy believes Howard wasn’t trying to bad-mouth any of his former teammates.

– Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles