Pregame buzz: League won't punish Brendan Haywood
NBA authorities do not plan to take any action regarding the alleged punch that Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said Haywood threw into the back of Magic center Dwight Howard during the Mavs' comeback victory Friday night, according to a league source.
Van Gundy said he turned in film for the league to review. Haywood has maintained his innocence saying that things can get testy between players, but that he never threw a punch.
Howard missed Saturday's practice and did not play in Sunday's game against Denver because of back spasms, just the third game he's missed due to injury in his eight-year career. After Saturday's practice, Van Gundy told reporters that Haywood threw two punches into Howard's back during one possession and that he planned to send the film to the league. Howard still played 44 minutes, recording 19 points and 15 rebounds. Van Gundy said Howard was able to stay in the game because he was loose, but that after the game Howard tightened up.
Haywood said he doesn't know about the film Van Gundy must have sent to New York because the Mavs' staff has scoured the game film and found no evidence of a punch being thrown.
"I guess he’s got something no one else has," Haywood said of Van Gundy on Monday during an appearance on "The Ben & Skin Show" on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. "Like I said, it’s a physical game and sometimes guys get testy with elbows thrown, forearms, but no one throws any punches out there. Most of the NBA guys, without a doubt, it’s all WWE to us. We’re fake tough guys. No one throws any real punches. It’s unfortunate Stan feels that way. I know he has to protect his guy, but that’s just not the case. No one has any footage of it I guess except him, so unless he had [assistant coach] Patrick Ewing on the bench taping with his iPhone, I don’t think that really happened."
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