My favorite part of the whole Dwight Howard saga is he doesn't want to be traded to Los Angeles because either a) he doesn't want to play with Kobe Bryant, or b) he doesn't want to follow Shaq's legacy of moving from the Orlando Magic to the Lakers.
But clearly, he's not afraid to walk in Shaq's shadow by trying to get Stan Van Gundy fired.
The Howard-Van Gundy, player-versus-coach tiff happens all the time in sports -- especially in the NFL. So with that in mind, I'm putting together my list of all-time coach-player beefs.
Some others I considered include Mike Ditka-Jim Harbaugh, Todd Haley-Anquan Boldin, that nobody Patriots offensive coordinator-Tom Brady, Bill Parcells-Terry Glenn, Dan Reeves-John Elway, June Jones-Jeff George and some older ones with guys you've never heard of. I even wanted to put in Mike Sherman and Warren Sapp (above), but let's keep this to guys on the same team.
And without further ado ...
Gruden and Johnson each had similar personalities -- fiery, emotional and unwilling to give an inch. So it's no surprise the two came to a heated exchange on the sideline during a nationally televised game. Nor was it surprising when Johnson was benched for the final six games of 2003 -- something he still bellyaches about during ESPN broadcasts, going back to just last year.
Sure, the duo might be the best coach-quarterback combination of all time. But there was considerable tension when Walsh brought in Steve Young in 1987. And it became even more heated when Montana was benched for the first time in his NFL career during a home playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings that season.
Another contender for the best coach-quarterback combination of all time, although this one actually started off rocky. Bradshaw split time with Terry Hanratty during his rookie season, and he even lost his starting job in 1974 to Joe Gilliam for a time. But Bradshaw and Noll eventually managed to work together, going on to win the Steelers' first Super Bowl title.
Aikman and Switzer had legit heat dating to their college days. Switzer dumped the wishbone to recruit Aikman, but that didn't last long once Aikman broke his leg and Jamelle Holieway led Oklahoma to the national title. Aikman (who wanted to go to Miami) transferred to UCLA, but the two were reunited with the Cowboys in 1994, after Jimmy Johnson resigned. Aikman thrived under Johnson's discipline but didn't care for Switzer's hands-off approach. A win in Super Bowl XXX did little to repair the relationship.
The divide between Al Davis and Allen often is celebrated, but Shell certainly was complicit in this mess. In fact, Shell was adamant the decision was all his. But whether it was, or he was just being loyal to Davis (which is probably a combination of the two), Shell certainly hurt the Raiders with this quarrel.
Where to start here? Owens often called out Steve Mariucci's play-calling during their time in San Francisco. Andy Reid became so exasperated in Philadelphia, he eventually suspended the player. And speaking of "the player," Bill Parcells refused to call Owens by name in Dallas and simply referred to him as "the player."
Now, I'm not real familiar with the indoor league that currently employs Owens, but it's a safe assumption his current coach already is over his (expletive).
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