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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Photo scrapbook: Van Gundy and Howard

By Patrick Dorsey

As you probably know by now, it's over.

The tumultuous relationship between the ever-enjoyable Stan Van Gundy -- fired Monday after five years as Orlando Magic head coach -- and Dwight Howard is no more.

But instead of feeling too bad for Stan -- as ESPN NBA writer Marc Stein put it, the coach is "too highly regarded to stay unemployed for long" -- let's cue up the melancholy music and take a photographic trip down this Magical Memory Lane.

There were happy times ...

Howard and Van Gundy in 2007, after the center signed a contract extension.

... and humorous ones.

Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard
Oddly, the demonstrative Van Gundy is making the second-funniest face in a photo.

There were times of nurturing ...

The two talk during practice in December 2011, before their final season together began.

... and times of respect ...

Howard & Van Gundy
Van Gundy gestures toward Howard during a January 2011 game against Detroit.

... but also, times of rebellion.

Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard
Van Gundy gestures to Howard during their 2011 playoff series loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Dwight Howard
Van Gundy's message appears not quite heard by Howard in this April 2012 game.

And yes, things got dreary there at the end...

Dwight Howard
Howard and Van Gundy in an April 2012 game. It's as if they see the train of separation coming.
Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard
Howard and Van Gundy in that same April game, one of the last they'd participate in together.

But no matter what, we'll always remember the best of times.

Dwight Howard
Howard and Van Gundy after winning the East title in 2009, beating LeBron James' Cleveland.